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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis & Treating Sensitive Fishes: Angels and Butterflies  

FAQs on Angel Disease: Angel Disease 1, Angel Disease 2, Angel Disease 3, Angel Disease 4,
FAQs on Angel Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environment, Nutrition, Social, Trauma, Pathogenic, Genetic, Treatments 
Related Articles: Marine Ich: Fighting The War On Two Fronts Cryptocaryoniasis, Parasitic Disease, Quarantine, Quarantine of Marine Fishes
FAQs on Butterflyfish Disease:
Butterflyfish Disease,
Butterflyfish Disease 2, Angels and Butterflyfishes & Crypt,
FAQs on Butterflyfish Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Infectious, Parasitic, Treatments

Related FAQs: Best Crypt FAQs, Crypt FAQs 1, Crypt FAQs 2, Crypt FAQs 3, Crypt FAQs 4, Crypt FAQs 5Crypt FAQs 6, Crypt FAQs 7, Crypt FAQs 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 12, Crypt FAQs 13, Crypt FAQs 14, Crypt FAQs 15, Crypt FAQs 16, Crypt FAQs 17, Crypt FAQs 18, Crypt FAQs 19, Crypt FAQs 20, Crypt FAQs 21, Crypt FAQs 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, Crypt FAQs 25, Crypt FAQs 26, Crypt FAQs 27, Crypt FAQs 28  & FAQs on Crypt: Identification, Prevention, "Causes", Phony Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work,  Products That Work By Name: Free Copper/Cupric Ion Compounds (e.g. SeaCure), Chelated Coppers (e.g. Copper Power, ), Formalin Containing: (e.g. Quick Cure),  About: Hyposalinity & Ich, Treating for Crypt & Sensitive Fishes

Pomacanthids, Chaetodontids and Crypt...

Not as "catching" or sensitive to the pathogen or its treatments as Tangs... but more so than some "average" for marine fishes. Low dosage treatments, environmental manipulation, steps to bolster immune systems...

Butterflyfishes for Marine

Diversity, Selection & Care
New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Crypt, Angel...       10/6/19
Good afternoon,
I have a 3 spot angel in a 70g QT that had a mild case of crypt successfully treated with Cupramine . Eating pellets ( New Life Spectrum ) and anything frozen . Unfortunately after copper treatment developed cloudy eyes.
<Can happen>
Left greater than right . I am feeding pellets soaked in kanamycin , Nitrofurantoin , and metronidazole ( seachem). Doing better after 3 days .
Water changes daily . Nitrates 10. Anything else to recommend ?
<Mmm; not at this juncture. Have you lowered spg?>
I know this genus , species is tough to keep but this fish has been exceptional and do not want to lose him/ her ?
Thank you, Jimmy
<DO please search, read on WWM re Pomacanthids, marine angelfishes and copper use; other treatments for Cryptocaryon. Bob Fenner>
re:      10/6/19

Thank you , I am lowering the sg . I know this is a tough genus / species to keep . Thx, Jimmy
<Cheers, BobF>

What looks like the crypt but is not?      10/3/19
Good day everyone,
Love this sight, always have, you all do a splendid job here.
<Ah, thank you for your kind, encouraging words>
My heart was on the floor this morning when I saw my purple tang and regal tang covered in what appears to be Cryptocaryon irritans at first glance but is clearly different on a more closer inspection.
<Mmm; well, there are other parasites, even "just congealed body mucus" that may appear as such. The only definitive means of telling what is what is to sample, examine with a microscope; as gone over on WWM and most fish disease tomes>
210 gallon tank FWLR, stocked with angels and tangs.
Ammonia 0 of course
Nitrite 0, nitrate 12, phosphate 0.2
We run carbon, GFO, employ NOPOX and change our socks every other day. This tank was established from zero-the long hard way of bleached rocks and new equipment with a 2 month cycle.
We quarantine each fish as we have been rung through twice before.
<Hard to exclude the principal pathogens, but it reads that you've done your best to>
We did just add 4 new fish in the span of 3 months, all quarantined.
My question is what disease is similar looking to ich? And what can we do about it?
<I WOULD sample and examine as stated; in the meanwhile (ASAP) likely drop (slowly, a few hundredths per day) specific gravity... begin reading re your options (copper, anti-malarials...) on WWM:
and the linked files above>
Many thanks,
<Do please keep me/us informed of continuing developments, your actions, thoughts. Bob Fenner>
Re: What looks like the crypt but is not?        10/4/19

Dear Mr. Fenner,
What an honor to receive an email from you having had read SO many of your posts during research and hard times.
I failed to mention that we have been ich free for about 1 1/2 years, I am quite sure the we nuked the horrendous, dreadful mofo of a parasite...(throat clear)...
<Ah yes... very hard to eliminate, exclude from captive systems>
A skin smear is near impossible. And the only fish vet in the surrounding area will not come to the house though I offered extra payment.
<Easy enough to do by oneself; really>
The last time we went through this I ordered from Fishman Chemicals $350 worth of “pure” CP from America to Canada. It was a disaster. It was not effective and cost me the lives of my beloved fish. I have used CP before that a courteous and sympathetic LFS guy gave to me as a favor and it did wonders. But that is not available any longer, he may have got in trouble for giving it to me. I called every pharmacy in town, I couldn’t get it except from Fishman. We all paid a heavy price with lives and monetarily.
I think I will start with Cupramine, just dose the whole tank. Thoughts??
<A worthy product... will state for others/browsers; WITH daily monitoring, testing for free copper presence, cessation of chemical filtrant use, possibly turning down, off skimming or running on a punctuated basis (to retain more copper)>
Does the skimmer matter?
<Oh, yes>
Nopox with Cupramine? Does anyone have experience??
<In looking for the MSDS of this Red Sea product, I found this: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/carbon-dosing-and-or-macroalgae-right-for-me.426442/
I suspect the totality of the ingredients include water and No3-po4-X, it has acetic acid, ethanol, and methanol. I would hold off (not use) this or other treatments during the Cupramine administration.
Bob Fenner>

Re: What looks like the crypt but is not?        10/4/19
Many thanks Mr. Fenner,
<Ms. Monroy>
I shall indeed keep you posted. Ever thank you for your hasty reply to me.
<Ah, I thank you. BobF>
Kind Regards,
Re: What looks like the crypt but is not?        10/4/19

Ummm, even if a skin smear is possible and it shows what parasite it is, would the treatment still be Cupramine? If not copper then what?!
<I am (yes, olde) still a huge fan of (appropriate) use of copper/compounds. Have used actually hundreds of gallons (by four one-gallon packs) over decades time. VERY effective used correctly. B>

Tinkeri with ich
Hello Wetweb Media Crew! I hope this email finds you all well. I currently have a Tinkeri Butterflyfish in QT. I've had him for almost 2 weeks now and have gotten him to eating a lot. This morning i noticed some fine white spots on the black, part of his body. I think its ich.
<Mmm; maybe, may be not. I would NOT be treating w/o confirming this via sampling and microscope use>
What medicine can I use on him as I understand they do not tolerate copper based medicines so well? I currently have him on Paraguard. But a lot of forums say it really isn't very effective against ich?
<Mmm; aldehydes can be effective... like other medications, S.O.P.s, NEED to be administered under propitious/ideal conditions>
Would love to hear your thoughts as I would hate to lose this fish.
<Oh, I do understand. Have spent hundreds of hours looking for Tinker's in Hawaii>
Many thanks!
<I would first try a pH adjusted (and aerated) freshwater bath; moving this fish in the process; either to the main/display or a new/clean isolation system. Please read here Re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm
Bob Fenner>

Reviewing ick treatment for Bannerfish... some reading, review on WWM NOW!      7/8/14
Dearest Bob & Crew,
Hope that this email finds you in great spirits.
<Ah yes; thank you>
Just a quick question today. I ordered some schooling Bannerfish from Kevin at Pacific Island Aquatics in Oahu (great guy!). Unfortunately my son had to go in for surgery and I was forced to dip them and forgo the quarantine. My entire fish population was wiped out!
I was able to order some more today and plan on doing it the correct way this time (tank has been fallow for over 2 months). Please let me know how this procedure looks:
1) Acclimate fish to quarantine tank- pH, temp, salinity etc. taking about 45 minutes.
<Mmm, are you based in Hawaii? I would follow the SOP for commercial acclimation archived on WWM IF the fish have been bagged for hours>
2) Perform freshwater dip (pH and temp matched of course). Last time I did 2 minutes. Some of banners showed some signs of discomfort. Perhaps longer this time?
<See WWM... re dips/baths... I would add some formalin>
3) Add to quarantine tank and monitor.
4) If signs of ick appear, treat immediately.
<With... CP?>
Do you think that a copper treatment or hyposalinity would be better? I'm leaning towards treating with Seachem's Cupramine.
<See... WWM... re quinine compounds>
The banners seemed to eat fairly well last time (although pickier then others and slower to acclimate to captive foods). Any other suggestions?
<All sorts... See WWM re Heniochus period>
Thanks so much!!!
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Longnose butterfly; CP burn?      3/19/14
Good evening Bob, and crew,
I am in need of advise <advice>. I am treating my fish in a hospital tank for Ich. I had outbreaks years ago, all the fish but a tang pulled thru, no treatment
<Ah, good>
other than frequent water changes and continued good water quality. The tang was treated with copper.
Over the years I have had only a few fish in my DT and recently started adding fish per your "ok" on my planned additions. Of course this has upset the balance of a lovely aquarium, and three weeks later a couple fish have spots and some distress. I pulled the distressed fish, and I started copper treatment in a hospital tank. Ammonia could not be controlled so I decided to try using Chloroquine phosphate per The Marine Fish Health & Feeding Handbook instructions.
<Very good>
I set up a new 30 gallon tank with mature biological filtration. I am four days into it and all the fish look great and are behaving healthy. All except the Longnose butterfly. The butterfly fish was never in the copper, btw. He has good color, and is eating NLS pellets. The issue is that all along his back where his dorsal spines meet his body is notably swollen, and his scales are standing out in that area, like a localized dropsy. I can not get a good picture of him, sorry. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
<Mmm, I'd keep an eye on this Forcipiger... and be ready to pull it, possibly do a pH adjusted freshwater dip (SOP on WWM) enroute to returning it to another main/display sans further treatment. CP exposure is more touchy with Butterflies (and Angels, and...). I suspect it is the quinine exposure here that is causing it harm. Bob Fenner>
Re: Longnose butterfly     3/19/14

Dear Bob,
Thank you for the fast response. I think it might be best to pull him out tonight. His caudal fin area is swollen too. Again, thank you so much!
<Ah, welcome. BobF>

Update on Emperor. Cu and angels       3/9/14
Update for your readers - I decided to strip the copper from my tank using Seachem's carbon. I was surprised how long it takes but after a week the copper level was down to 0.1 and I replaced with a second set of carbon for two reasons, after a week I suspect most of the carbon is saturated and also if the pH should drop I did not want the copper going back into the tank.
The Emperor has improved in colour and the blotches have gone. I decided not to treat for internal parasites as having read up I was concerned about my bacteria filtration. The Emperor is still eating well and his weight seems to have stabilised. I am suspicious as to how he was caught (Cyanide etc) but hope his digestive tract bacteria is returning.
<As the fish is eating; and didn't perish almost immediately from; I suspect it is fine>
I have learn that Copper is more sensitive to Emperors than to the mostly harder to keep Regal, Blueface and Majestic Angels, the Regal who was eating half the time when the Copper was at 0.6 is now eating well.
Kind regards,
<Thank you for this report. BobF>
Hole in the head on Majestic and BlueFace Angel      3/9/14

<Hello again>
Fortunately after decreasing the amount of copper in the water, 80% of the "holes" have gone.
Kind regards,
<This too. B>

Hopefully you can help my with my sick Tinkers butterfly     1/7/14
Dear WetWebMedia-crew/Bob,
First I like to compliment you on your website. I really like the way it has grown organically and I appreciate the information provided a lot. I email you because I hope you can maybe point me to something I have overlooked so far. I have copied/pasted my question from the topic I started on ReefCentral.
<Can't convert these files... would you please just copy and paste them in a new email to me/us? Will respond to you below>
I really hope you can help me.
Kind regards,
Tanne Hoff
My tinker's butterfly is ill. I bought it 6 months ago and it has done very well the first 6 months.
< A tough species, sub- and whole genus>

Since it stopped eating last week I decided I should treat for Cryptocaryon.
<?... why? I would NOT do this>

I set up a small hospital tank using water from the aquarium and I started treating with a mild dose of malachite green, Methylene blue and formalin (commercially available fish medicine here sold under the brand name Femsee),
<Dangerously toxic>

 I stuck to these for 2 days.
Yesterday I switched to copper and Furaltadone (broad-spectrum antibiotic, Nitrofuran derivative). I choose the copper because of what I have read both on websites such as these and based on the book by G. Bassleer about fish diseases. The Furaltadone was used because my LFS advised me to do so as he felt there might be secondary infections. This LFS mostly knows what they are talking about. I have a Salifert copper test kit and as I read I should gradually increase the level of the copper I started with about 0,15 mg/l.
<... has to be higher... 0.20 mg/l (eq. to ppm); but no higher than 0.35 ppm free/cupric ion>
I check nitrites and ammonium daily, so far both are undetectable. Daily I replace 50% of the water with water from the reef aquarium, I top up removed medication.
The fish still does not eat.
<Not with being moved, these chemical exposures, no... NEEDS to be moved back to more agreeable setting, conditions; offered foods it recognizes, perhaps laced with HUFAs, vitamins as appetite stimulant>
Of course, the main goal is to get the fish completely healthy again, but I feel I should get it to eating as well. Of course, the fish probably does not eat because it is ill, but the fact it does not eat does not help its immune system.
So my main questions are:
- am I doing everything right?
<No; not; see above>
- when could I expect the fish to eat again?
<...? When it is treated better>
All suggestions are more than welcome.
I filled in the questionnaire from the stickies as well.
<... for somewhere else. We don't do this/these on WWM>
Thanks in advance, also on behalf of my fish 
1. How old is this aquarium?
Set up in 2006. See the picture I have attached.
2. If less than six months old, what is ammonia level?
3. What is SG of this aquarium? How measured?
1.024, spindle
4. When was the last fish added to this aquarium?
August 2013, 5 small Anthias cooperi which all do very well.
5. Was it quarantined? If so, how? And how long? Was it prophylactically treated? How?
Kept in a separate perforated box in the tank for about 2 weeks.
Prophylactically treated in a FW-bath with Praziquantel for 25 minutes.
6. If you are using a copper based medication, which one? How often do you measure level? When?
See below.
7. If you are using hyposalinity, how did you calibrate your refractometer?-
8. Please describe in detail, the appearance of the fish? If there is one or more pimples, are they lumpy? What color?
Fish looks ok, but an experienced keeper could see there was 'something' wrong when the fish was still in the display tank. It has had a few spots earlier, but nothing serious. The amount of spots seems to have increased a bit, but, even worse: the fish quit eating last week so it was moved to a hospital tank on Jan. 4th. I have attached two pictures of the fish, the one from the front shows the skin's condition best. That picture is not completely clear, but especially on the black areas of the fish, the spots are visible quite well.
9. Please describe the behavior of the fish as best you can. Is it acting reclusive? Is it always up towards the top of the aquarium? Is it avoiding light? How active is the fish?
When still in the display tank, the fish used to be very active and ate nearly anything from between my fingers. Last week the fish quit eating and I did not get it to eat, I tried lots of food without any luck. When the fish quit eating, it went to the cleaner goby and cleaner shrimp more often and was less often swimming in the visible area of the aquarium.
10. Is the fish eating? What?
No, see above. There are some live Mysid shrimp, some bigger (but small enough for him) other shrimp and a clip of seaweed (which he used to like) but he does not touch anything.
<Return this fish to the main display... try opened shellfish, worms....
Bob Fenner>
Re: Hopefully you can help my with my sick Tinkers butterfly; now w/ pix     1/7/14

Dear Bob,
Thanks for your fast reply! Wow!!
I copy the text and add the pictures separately... Thanks in advance!! :)
<I see; these are all the same as what you included past your initial message. Which I have responded to since (between this email and your first>
<.... I see some light spotting in your included images... but am curious as to the other fish livestock... They did not, do not show symptoms? I would STILL return the BF to the main display... and have you read here:
and the linked files above; for background and to formulate a plan for fighting the loss of appetite, whatever possible protozoan issue this might be... in the entire system. We'll chat after your reading. BobF>
My tinker's butterfly is ill..... <the rest a copy of the above>

Best treatment available for scratching Chelmon rostratus   11/17/13
Hi Crew, from the UK.
<Hail from Chicago, US>
   Sincerely hope to find you all healthy and in good spirits.
<Thank you>
   Just a quickie really (if you'll excuse the term). You guys have helped me so much in the last ten or so years, I will forever be indebted to you.
One of these days I will send you a bottle of Scottish nectar,  (Single Malt)  Just let me know where to send it?
<Ooooh; have given up on alcohol, but I thank you for your offer>
   Anyway, my question. I've read on WWM about a treatment, a "later greater technology"  for Amyloodinium based on Quinine, 'Chloroquine Phosphate'. Is this a product which one can purchase over the counter?
<I don't know re the UK; but can be purchased online in the US>
 & if it is, what brand name/s might it go under?
<There's a list on WWM:
I haven't had cause to treat any fish since I started quarantining absolutely everything/anything that went into my main display.
   That was about 20 years ago. Now I have a problem. I have been 'given' three fish, one Chaetodon Bennetti (Bennett's Butterfly), one Threadfin Butterfly (Chaetodon auriga) and one Chelmon rostratus (Copperband butterfly) all are youngsters and between one and a half and two inches long. I had to rather hastily get a QT up & running, all I had was a 20 gallon tank on which I put my D-D fluidised sand bed filter from my main tank and my D-D fluidised bed with one litre of (fresh) Rowacarbon in it.
   These are well over capacity (see link below) for a 20 gallon QT I know, but it's all I had.  They are the type shown on eBay below. (and no, I am not on a commission!)
   You're probably well ahead of me here.  The fish all look fine with no abrasions or dustings with salt nor fine pepper but the copperband is scratching/flicking just the one side above the gills on the two pieces of live rock I put in the QT from my main display. Would I be overdoing it, do you think by putting a UV sterilizer on the QT tank?
<Not overdoing it. I would put this device on if I had it>
 It would be a big one again for about a 200 litre tank.  I have an ozoniser but am not sure how best to filter the residual ozone without a skimmer.
<Activated carbon>
I'm sorry guys, this wasn't such a quickie after all. I do always search your great site, there is always something to learn but on this occasion I need some advice.
Keep up the good work. I'm damned sure you have helped our reefs around the world more than any government have ever done. 
With sincere thanks
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

True Falcula Butterfly with Ich   3/19/12
Hello Crew! <Hello Jeff, Bobby here this evening> Love the site! Thanks Bob for putting together this great place and thanks to all the contributors as well.  I have a True Falcula and Saddleback (Chaetodon ephippium) butterfly in a 29 gallon QT at the moment. <Kudos to you for using a QT!!>  For the first 4 days they were doing well and eating.  On day five there was an Ich breakout with the Falcula covered in white spots and the saddleback with a few on its tail.  I started dosing with CopperSafe <I am not a big fan of this product for the reasons you list below, it is a fairly 'harsh' form of Copper.  I would advocate Cupramine instead.  Please note that you would need either a Seachem or Salifert Copper test to read this product accurately.> keeping levels at 1.5 - 2.0 ppm as per the directions (Chelated copper needing higher ppms then normally recommended max of 0.3 I'm guessing). <Please confirm that you are using a test kit to confirm readings> Due to the ammonia levels getting up to 0.3 I am doing 50% water changes every day. <Do you not have an established Bio Filter in the QT? A way of establishing one?>  On day 3 of using copper the Falcula started breathing rapidly and stopped being interested in food.  The saddleback seems to be doing fine and eating.  I am now on day 6 of using copper and Falcula is still breathing rapidly and not eating, but all the spots have dropped off (he shows no other signs of distress, is still swimming around).  What would be your recommendation on the Falcula?  Try to make it through the full QT period?  Thanks in advance for the information!  <At this point I would suggest removing the copper via water changes and/or Carbon.  Get the fish settled and eating again.  While you are getting them eating again, consider FW dips, http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm , if you observe any immediate issues.  Once the fish is eating, a biological filter is established, and all seems in order, you can proceed with the Copper treatment using the product I mentioned above.  Lots of other information here as well surrounding diseases and QT procedures/treatments.
 http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm , please review.>
Jeff <Bobby>
Re: True Falcula Butterfly with Ich   3/19/12

Thanks for your prompt reply.  Regarding your questions below:  I am using an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals test kit for copper to confirm copper dosage. 
As for the bio filter, I had a sponge filter that was seeded from my DT along with a piece of live rock from the DT in the QT but took these out when I started dosing copper due to my thoughts that the copper would probably kill all the beneficial bacteria anyway.<Copper will not kill the bacteria.  That being said, the live rock will absorb the copper removing it from the water column.  The Sponge filter can, and should, remain in the QT>  I know I needed to take the LR out, but should I have left the sponge filter in? <See above>  When I took these out I put both of them in a bucket that I'm circulating SW water in (didn't want to put them back in the display tank since they were probably also infected with Ich).  Last night I followed your advice and did a 50% water change with no copper. 
After the change I put the sponge filter back in the QT and am running carbon in a HOB filter.  I will continue with the 50% changes over the next few days with no copper (good thing I have two 55 gallon drums and a 100 gpd RO/DI filter!). <Sounds good, not only will you remove the copper but will minimize the ammonia as well> I figure I better wait until all the copper is gone before putting the LR back in. <No need unless you think the fish need to graze on it or it will help establish the bio filter>  I also ordered some Cupramine and the corresponding Seachem copper test kit.
<Sounds good.  When you do use the Cupramine, administer the full dosage over the course of 4-5 days and watch the reaction of the fish> I will continue to follow your advice and see if I can get him eating again before adding Cupramine.  Any other advice or comments would be greatly appreciated! <Good progress so far, just focus on getting him eating>Jeff<Bobby>

Healthy Fish. Genicanthus, Cu use   1/10/12
I have a female swallowtail angel in QT, going on two weeks now, who exhibits no signs of crypt or any other illness.
 I have tang in my display tank who is absolutely sensitive to crypt. I recognize the possibility that the angel could make it through quarantine without a crypt outbreak, and then "carry" it to my display tank where my other fish would be devastated by it.
 <Okay... and recognize that there may well be a resident infestation of Crypt in the main/display tank...>
Could you weigh in on the idea of preemptively treating the QT with Cupramine?
<Yes. Am not a fan of copper use on Angels... see my opinions, the rationale for them posted over and over on WWM re>
  In my experience angels are the worst fish for copper, but they're also among the worst for carrying bugs without displaying symptoms.
 <I'd be using a quinine compound here... also posted... WWM>
I do not believe tangs can coexist in a tank with crypt,
<You'd be wrong here>

and I really don't want to crash my tank with Ich.  Also, there seems to be a crackdown on quinine antimalarials.  I can't find the stuff in stock,
<See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuinSourceF.htm
so at this point I really think it's copper or it's nothing at all.
<Up to you>
Thanks in advance,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Flame Angel lump... now Heni... hlth.  11/23/10
Hello again folks. I have over 20 different questions per week about the saltwater hobby and after checking the forums there are always one or two questions that go unanswered. Therefore, I contact you and I hope not to be a bother. I have a Heniochus in qt now for about one week and he has been scratching his gills since the day I purchased him. I waited it out to see if any spots showed up to determine whether or not to treat him with quinine. No spots showed so I narrowed it down to a fluke or fish lice.
<Might be "nothing"... just stress, chemical/physical "burn" from transport>
I went ahead and used the least harmful Med (Prazi-pro) and the day after one of his gills were completely shut and the other moving rapidly. Is this from the Med or is it the start of Ich/protozoa?
<Likely the former>
Thanks so Much everyone and Happy Thanksgiving !
<And you! Bob Fenner>
Re: re: Flame Angel lump... more? Re Heni, Crypt    11/24/10

Thanks for your help again. I do have another qt tank with a pb tang (japonicus)
and a flame angel that came down with Ich.
<All who are exposed need to be treated>
I am following the directions to the letter on the qs
container and was wondering if on the last day of treatment the fish are free of spots and symptoms, shall I just put them back in the display or shall I wait another week to see if anymore parasites show up?
<... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm
and the linked files above, till you're satisfied that you know what you're up to here>
Last time I used qs, it killed my small Heniochus. He lost color, stopped eating and became very lethargic and died. Wish me luck....I am concerned. Thanks again.
<Best of luck... BobF>

Copperband butterfly - Ich?  10/8/10
<Hi Steve, Misty here>
I was hoping to ask you all a couple questions about a new 2.5" Copperband butterfly (Chelmon rostratus). I bought it from a respectable LFS about 4 weeks ago, and asked to see it eat before I took it. It was eating well on frozen brine and Mysis. Once home, it was placed in a 20gal QT (bare bottom, one piece of LR, water was from DT) and was eating frozen just fine. I saw no signs of disease, and did not feel there was a need to medicate or dip this fish (which I now regret). I was worried about stressing it out, since I read it is a sensitive and finicky butterfly. 3 weeks in QT (should have been 4) and I moved it over to my DT.
<Good job on the QT>
My system: 90gal with 20gal sump, 130lbs LR, 120lbs LS, system has been up for 1 year. I see tons of amphipods running around the rock at night, I assume I have ample copepods as well. Water parameters look good - nitrates, nitrites, phosphates, and ammonia are all 0; pH is 8.2; dKH is 8; I am using the API reefmaster and saltwater test kits, and I also took a water sample to the LFS who got the same results.
Current residents include: 2.5" purple tang, 5" lawnmower blenny, 3" orange ocellaris clown, 2" black ocellaris clown, and 3" royal gramma.
I have 1 cleaner shrimp and 4 peppermint shrimp, blue leg hermits, 6 huge Nassarius snails, and a few leftover turbo snails that haven't been captured by the hermits. As far as coral, I have a handful of
small frags (Pocillopora, Duncanopsamia, Montipora capricornis and Montipora digitata, various Zoanthus colonies, Euphyllia parancora and Euphyllia paradivisa) and 2 larger Turbinaria "pagoda cups". I
also have a new 2.5" blue maxima clam (that was purchased at the same time and place as the butterfly). I hope this is an appropriately thorough description of my setup.
Now for the problem...
I moved the Copperband and, as expected, the purple tang was quite aggressive. Within a few hours, it was getting better; today, after 5 days, they seem fine. Upon moving him, the butterfly stopped eating
frozen foods and began grazing my amphipod population
<seems normal...would you rather have steak or frozen steak?>.
He also would do this funny "twitch" every once in awhile (but no flashing... yet).
Last night, I supplemented my feeding with garlic, and all my fish (including the Copperband) were frantically feeding on the Mysis and brine (soaked in Selcon). I thought this was a great sign!
<Yes, it is a good sign>
However, I noticed the Copperband was flashing during this time, and I've discovered about 4-5 white spots on one pectoral fin (looks like Ich).
<Likely...not unexpected, even after the QT period. Moving into a new space with fish (esp. a mean purple tang) is stressful.>
I'm assuming he has a parasitic infection for sure. My dilemma is this: he may be difficult to catch with all of the live rock, and I'm afraid I may stress him worse by removing him and putting him back in a QT <Agreed...as long as he continues eating and the torture from the purple tang subsides, I'd let him ride this out...assuming that the Ich spots don't become absurd>.
Also, I might add that my 20g QT was dropped while being dumped outside and broke into a million pieces... my only remaining empty tank is a 10 gallon. He's not breathing heavy, and I don't notice any
other abnormal behavior besides the flashing/twitching. I'm not sure what to do: catch him, dip/medicate and QT again and risk stressing him worse (this would be the second move in 5 days); or leave him in
the tank and hope that feeding garlic and limiting stress as much as possible may solve the problem. <Yep...have had a couple of CBB's that have gone through this as well...and have been fine. Had you not QT'd to start, would be more of an issue. Your cleaner shrimp may come into play to help as well. I had one CBB with the same issues that kept going to my peppermint shrimp for a cleaning, which didn't work. Got him a cleaner shrimp and it was great.> I will also add that he only flashes on one rock that has green hair algae on it (must be soft?) and the sand bed - so he doesn't have any open wounds that I have seen. I've also noticed that when he does flash, he always goes back to the same place to pick at the rock or sand for "critters"... smart and beautiful fish. (Wonderful fish once acclimated. But they will decimate the live critters (worms, feather dusters, pods, etc.) before resorting to your paltry frozen food :)>. I want to do everything I can to help him out!
All other fish seem unaffected at this time.
After reading some more articles on WWM, I'm also concerned about flatworms
<hmmm...different issue...not a species that I've heard to be "internal">.
Do you think the Ich is probably the primary problem, or could he have a "super infestation" with flatworms as well (because of the twitching)? <not sure about the twitching...keep an eye on it...I know
about the other stuff...but twitching is new!>
Thank you for any help possible, I really appreciate your time!
<Please keep us updated with any changes!>
<Cheers, Misty>
Re: Copperband butterfly - Ich?  10/8/10
Thank you for your reply! <You're welcome :)> As I was reading, I realized that I said "flatworms" and actually meant "flukes". I've never had a fish with flukes <me neither, actually...been lucky, I guess!> and not really sure what to look for with it. <As I've got no experience with them first-hand, me neither, unfortunately> As I was reading about flukes, there was a comment about Acropora-eating-flatworms that
caught my attention and I'm afraid I mistyped! Do you think the twitching could be indicative of a possible fluke infestation? <Not sure, but according to this article, more common symptoms are rapid breathing,
hiding and discoloration... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm >. He seemed to twitch and flash less this evening, but has gained a spot or two on the same pectoral fin (and the fin is now split in one spot).
Still no spots anywhere else that I can see, and he ate frozen Mysis again today.
<A very good sign...I'd keep a close eye on him. Continue the use of garlic/Selcon to help his immune system (as well as the other tank inhabitants until the spots are gone). Ich will always be in your system unless you allow it to go fallow for long enough to starve the Ich.
So it would do you no good to QT him again for a couple of spots and then put him back into a tank with Ich. Obviously, if he can't develop a natural resistance to the parasite and gets worse, then you will need to
remove him for treatment...and think about getting a big QT for all of the fish to allow the tank to go fallow. In my experience with a couple of butterflies, they have developed their own natural resistance and were fine after about a week.>
Thanks again for your help!
<You're welcome, again...hope the CBB does well...I'm sure he will under your care.>
<Cheers, Misty>

Multicolor Angel and Ich 09/29/10
Hello All,
I've had a small multicolor angel (not quite two inches) in quarantine for 2 1/2 weeks. She is only picking at my rotation of food (Mysis shrimp, bloodworms, spectrum pellets, Cyclopeeze, and a frozen herbivore
<Very typical>
but looking at the "kissing marks" on the decor and glass, I'm assuming substantial nutrition is coming from the diatoms/algae.
<And what's associated with them>
The good news here is that she is active in a normal dwarf angel way (darting in and out of hiding, curious- but cautious when I'm around the tank). Her eyes are clear, her belly is round and her feces are dark green and seen on a regular basis. She has one tank mate in quarantine, an orchid Dottyback destined for another tank.
The problem is that two days ago I saw her "scratch" twice and then go about her business.
Tonight I noticed three salt grain spots on various spots on her fins.
(The Dottyback has no sign of infection, yet.) After 12 years in the hobby, my gut is saying these are Ich spots, but for better or for worse I've never had to treat an angel for Ich. After looking through the FAQ, it sounds like there are many different opinions about how to proceed now.
I am particularly concerned that the angel is dependent to a high degree on foraging on the liverock and diatoms/algae and that chemical use would take away this food source.
The quarantine tank is 25 gallons, bare bottom, with two pieces of liverock for grazing, and some plastic hidey holes. I have two little hang on filters and a Prizm skimmer going. I do have a second potential quarantine tank (30 gallons) which has its own heater, but no filter or skimmer. I have about 15 gallons of pre-made salt water on stand by. FWIW, my display tank is a 46 gallon low light reef.
Considering the small size of this angel and dwarf angels sensitivity to chemicals, I would appreciate any and all advice.
My thanks in advance-Tricia
<I am inclined with small Angels (of size, not necessarily species), to especially be careful re the use of toxic medications... IF anything, I might use Chloroquine Phosphate (one dose) on/with this fish... but am more likely (if this were my own situation) to just do a cursory pH-adjusted freshwater bath (likely w/o any additional chemical presence) and place this fish in your main display. Yes, there is a risk (always) of spreading Cryptocaryon... but there is a very good chance that your and almost everyone's systems have resident crypt infestations (already). Bob Fenner>
Re: Multicolor Angel and Ich  4/22/11

Mr. Fenner (and crew),
I wrote back in October 2010 about my multi-color angel and a case of Ich.
I just wanted to let you know that six months later all original fish are well with no obvious signs of Ich.
<Ahh! Congratulations Tricia!>
The angel did start to exhibit the beginnings of hole-in-the-head so I began soaking the fish food in Zoe and Selcon. I also altered my light pattern to have a longer period of reduced light intensity during the day.
The angel's head has healed, but the blue is not as intense as it was when he arrived last October (OTOH, his yellow coloring is brighter). Behavior wise, the wrasse, angel, and goby have no issues. The wrasse occasionally "spooks" the firefish and the angel occasionally reminds the firefish the she is the boss, but there are no frayed fins or hiding behavior.
Although I understand that the Ich is probably a permanent resident in my tank, all residents seem healthy and happy.
Thank you again for all of your advice-Tricia
<Thank you for your report/update. Cheers, BobF>

Cupramine question 9/28/10
Hey Crew,
Simple question : What duration of time is adequate for Cupramine therapy for the treatment of marine crypt?
<... usually a week or less... Read here:
I have a masked butterfly
<See WWM re: http://wetwebmedia.com/cryptasbfs.htm
that I had in QT that came down with marine crypt. Has been eating thawed Mysis shrimp/ brine shrimp / plankton in QT treated with Cupramine.
<... the food, treated with chelated copper?>
I have seen minimum of 14 days max of 28 days as "recommendations."
Treatment level is .4- .5 ppm using Salifert kit to test.
<Keep reading. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cupramine question   9/28/10

Thanks for the response...so you are joking that a week of Cupramine is adequate for treatment of marine crypt?
<Not joking Jimmy... longer than this is usually deadly for Chaetodontids... Butterflyfishes>
The link you provide states 14 days and others have recommended 28 days.
The QT is treated with Cupramine and not the food. Just trying to clarify Seachem's recommendation of 14 days of therapy and others recommend
21-28 days.
<Try it and see... In these times, I wouldn't expose BF's to Copper period... See WWM re the use of Quinine Compounds. B>

Sorry another Ich question  7/31/10
Hi there crew, Jordan here. I know there a thousands of posts regarding ich and I have read through a lot of them. I am in a bit of a predicament I believe. I have the following fish in my tank which is 125g with sump,
total volume of 150g.
2 x Occ. Clowns
7 x blue Chromis
1 x B/F Longnose
<W/ Crypt>
That is it so far as I was just beginning to stock my tank after about 6 months of it running.
So my concern is that my B/F appears to have marine ich as far as I can tell.
<Appears to be>
Pectoral fins and tail fins have the appearance of tiny white spots.
I am unable to see any spots elsewhere on his body however. He is eating fine and not really scratching or anything at this time. I understand that my whole tank is now infected if it is truly ich.
<Actually infested is the term... infections refer to microbes like bacteria, fungi... infestations to "higher" pathogens>
I am prepared to QT all the fish for 6 weeks or so and let the tank run fallow. My problem is that my QT is only a 10g so it might be a little too small
<Is for the Forcipiger for sure>
although all my fish are juveniles B/F the largest at about 2.5"
<Mmm, a shame... specimens this small should be left in the sea... they rarely "survive">
all the rest about 1.5" The other problem is that I will be away for a week the third week of August and will have no one here to do regular water changes and monitor meds etc. I would not feel comfortable leaving this with a friend. Will it be pointless to start the QT today and only do it for 3 weeks?
<I do think so... and would not move, isolate the fishes given this data>
Or should I just do my best to feed and do larger water changes from now till vacation and hope that the ich problem doesn't get really bad?
<Is one approach, though I must/would state that historically... "the odds are against you"... I might well go ahead and try a Quinine cpd. in place>
I'm at a loss here. Would dipping the B/F in a fresh water formalin dip or something else help him for the short term until I get back?
<No... just more stress, increased likelihood of passing w/ next reinfestation>
I don't want to take too drastic measures just yet but I fear the problem will get worse obviously. Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I'll send the best picture I can to see if in your great wisdom you think it is indeed ich I am dealing with.
Thank you very much.
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/QuinSciUseF.htm
and the linked files above... till you're satisfied you understand your options. BobF>

BF dis., Quinine use f' 2/23/2010
Hey Crew.....
I value you each and every one of your opinions but I would like Bob's advice on this one if at all possible. I just recently upgraded from a 10g QT to a 20g long QT. I have a small 2.5 inch Heniochus and a 3" Raccoon
(Chaetodon Lunula).
<I do want to (re)state for browsers, that I'd look for larger (but not too large) specimens of Chaetodontids to start>
I have treated my Heni for ten days with Quinine Sulfate. Then added the Raccoon after the full ten day treatment and a few additional days (for a total of about two weeks later). Bodies and fins are clear of spots and there are no visible symptoms of a parasite (rapid breathing, flashing, etc.). My concern here is that my Heniochus has a very slight cloudy glaze over his eyes and fins.
<Likely "just stress" from the treatment... i.e., not parasitic>
I do want to say that even when he had velvet from the start his fins were never cloudy like this. After two weeks of being treated with QS he has developed this (without any spots or symptoms). Is this normal?
Shall I treat with something else? Or will this go away eventually?
<No and yes>
I have called National Fish Pharm. and when I spoke with the Doctor, he said it could be from the treatment of QS.
<Yes; this is so>
There isn't much info regarding this med in your forums or at all on the WWW. Bob, what do you think, I would like your opinion?
Thanks so much
<Welcome. BobF>

Blue Ring Copper Toxic Levels, Pomacanthus hlth.  - 06/05/09
Hi there,
I've been treating my blue ring angel for white spot and he seems to be rid of the whitespot.
However he has developed a cloudy eye and it seems pretty severe. He twitched a lot as well and am assuming this is due to long exposure of copper.
<Could well be>
Am planning on doing massive water changes on the weekend and adding a copper removing filter.
Am wondering if the cloudy eye will heal itself with good water quality and also if there is such a point of no return for the eye.
<Likely will cure itself over time, good water quality, nutrition>
Thanks in advance
Thai Pham
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

ICH Problem 5/24/09
Hi there,
< Hi >
My blue ring angel has been showing first signs of ICH.
< Insert scary music here >
Though it's minor and the spots disappear in the morning, was wondering if I maintain good water quality the ICH will rid itself.
< I would start with treatments immediately. >
I've got a 375 gallon tank with the 6-7 inch blue ring and 15 Green Chromis. Also have 220 pounds of live rock. Have got copper treatments and anti Protozoal
< I would stick with the copper treatment >
or whatever it's called on standby. Would rather not treat and if it can rid itself, how can I help it.
< I would remove all fish to a hospital tank for treatments. As well as letting the display run fallow. Treatments should be a combination of copper and environmental adjustments. There is tons of info of Wet Web concerning treatment. Read:
As well as the pages of FAQ's GA Jenkins >

Treatment Options for Juvenile Emperor with Ich 03/22/09
Hello WWM Crew,
Thanks you for your outstanding website. With the help in no small part of your collective advice, I have managed to develop a 135 gallon SPS system which is thriving in a way I could not have imagined when I began this venture about two and a half years ago.
<Ahh, congratulations>
If nothing else, I hope this message is a testimonial to other readers about the value of the quarantine tank.
I also hope that get some of your experienced advice in connection with a juvenile emperor angelfish that I acquired last week. He is a bit small (about 1-1/4 inch nose to tail) but exceptionally energetic and curious. He also demonstrated a very good appetite at the LFS store. I purchased him and introduced him to his temporary home; a 20 gallon OT with "mature" sponge filter, heater and a couple of power heads.
Unfortunately, after a day or two in quarantine, he started showing signs of Ich. Referring to the attached photo, you will likely see the tell-tale spot on his pectoral fin, as well as a couple tiny spots on his caudal and anal fin.
<I see this>
My first response was to begin to lower the salinity of the tank and monitor the progression of the parasite and host (i.e see if the fish can fight off the Ich with its own natural defenses as he continues to gain strength in QT). I am also wiping down the floor/walls of the QT and replacing about four gallons of make-up water (taking "diluted" water from the main display) on a daily basis.
The salinity is now down to 22 ppt
<Mmm, needs to be quite lower for hyposalinity to be of use here>
and emperor is showing no signs of distress and maintains his voracious appetite. But there is also no evidence of any significant reduction at the affected areas.
<Also good>
I have done lots of research on the subject of Ich and believe that early and decisive action is very important, so I am presently considering two treatment options. The first is to continue the water change and hypo salinity regimen (taking salinity down to 15-16 ppt for the prescribed duration). Assuming I can get to the point where there are no longer any visible spots attached fish, I would do a 100% water change (again, using diluted water from the main display) and completely wash down the interior of the QT.
The second option would be treatment with SeaChem Cupramine, but given the "tender age" of this juvenile emperor, I am concerned about the toxicity affects over the (hopefully long) lifetime of this particular fish.
I realize that it is up to the individual aquarist to take responsibility and implement the appropriate treatment option, but I would very much appreciate hearing the thoughts of folks with your collective experience.
Would you follow one (or both) of the treatments outlined above, or possibly something else altogether?
<Due to the factors you mention, I would go with the first option>
Thanks in advance.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Treatment Options for Juvenile Emperor with Ich 5-22-09
Dear Mr. Fenner (or to the WWM Crew Member responding to this email),
<Mike Maddox here tonight>
For your reference, I am re-sending a message I sent back on March 21st, in which I requested your advice on treatment options for a juvenile Emperor that appeared to have Ich. Bob Fenner responded that he concurred with the proposed treatment as outlined (thank you for your advice).
I proceeded with the hyposalinity treatment, lowering these salinity about 1 ppt per day until I reached 15ppt. The pH has been maintained at roughly 8.3 using Seachem Marine Buffer. Salinity was kept in the range of 14- 15 ppt and after about a week the spot on the caudal fin disappeared. The spot on the anal fin was gone a few days later and after about two weeks (total) the spot (really more of a small lump) rather suddenly "fell off" the pectoral fin.
Thinking I had the Ich "on the run" I immediately did a 100% water change in the QT (using diluted make-up water from the display) and thoroughly cleaned the interior of the QT. This actually had a detrimental impact on the fish which I still don't quite understand (the water became cloudy and the Emperor lost his appetite and was quite lethargic and incurious for several days).
<Sounds like an adverse reaction/precipitation...always use freshly mixed and aerated saltwater as a replacement>
I kept the water quality as high as possible through frequent water changes and the fish did recover his appetite and his former behavior after about a week.
I continued the hyposalinity levels with the goal of going at least 2-3 weeks with no visible spots before slowing increasing salinity back to normal levels. Here is where things seem to have taken a turn for the worse. Over the ensuing weeks, The emperor continues a cycle of having spots (again really more like small lumps) recurring on the same pectoral fin as initially infected. No spots are ever observed anywhere else on the fish and no "scratching" is ever observed. The fish continues to grow, exhibit a good appetite (albeit not quite as robust as seen before) and is still very inquisitive and "social".
<Time to make certain it is receiving sponge material...I believe Ocean Nutrition's angel formula has sponge in it>
Within the past week or so, I have also noticed small discolorations or lesions on the face and body of the fish which is beyond my ability / experience to identify. These (and the pectoral lumps, which are especially bad in these shots) can be seen in the attached photographs.
<Tough to tell from the pictures...do they come and go, or are they more permanent?>
I believe corrective action is needed here but I don't quite know how to proceed. Based on your knowledge and experience, do you think I am still dealing with crypt and need to adjust my treatment (say administer copper or formalin)
<There are superior treatments...in my opinion there is hardly (if ever) a reason to use copper>
or could I be dealing with something altogether different?
<Definitely a possibility>
Assuming a different treatment is warranted, would you first raise salinity prior to the other treatment?
<No. I recommend a full course of treatment with quinine sulfate, available from www.nationalfishpharm.com, and see how things are after that. Also ensure the fish receives plenty of plant material in its diet, as well as sponge matter>
Again, I want to express my sincere thanks for the work you folks do to help novices such as the undersigned.
<We've all been there, and we all continue to feel like novices at some point or another! The help is gladly given>
<Let me know if the quinine treatment doesn't work...Mike Maddox>

Clownfish/Hammer Coral and multicolor angel questions   12/30/08 Hello and Happy Holidays - Thank you for your website, knowledge, and assistance! I read, read, read and then can still not believe that I missed an important piece of information or still don't understand something. I guess that's why this is a good hobby for me. Never boring. Always something new. <Agreed> I have been in the hobby 5-6 years and recently revived my saltwater tank after a home remodel - tank ran with a heater, rock, and sand for almost a year. Now I have been re-stocking and re-learning for a few months. My 100 gal tank (black sand, lots of live rock, 30 gal sump, ASM skimmer, very small and young HOB CPR refugium) has good water parameters (SG 1.025, T 79, Amm/Nitrite/Nitrate all zero, PH 8.1-8.2). My two primary questions: 1. I have 2 black clowns (with orange faces) that are in the process of pairing up. Overall, they seem to have settled down, but I still see them nipping at each other now and again. They have elected to host in my Hammer Coral. The Hammer seems quite tolerant of this and looks actually very well. They have been living in this coral constantly for the past 3-4 weeks, took to the coral about a week after it was introduced to the tank. Days 1-3 very happy and in the hammer coral most of the time Day 4 fluffy cotton hanging from both fish Day 5 or 6 cotton resolved Days 6-8 very happy Day 9 Small slits in fins on both fish Day 12 or 13 slits healed entirely Days 13-15 very happy Approx Day 16 both clowns had more severe reactions to the coral. The smaller could not close his mouth. The larger developed a very swollen and puffy-looking face. Small clown moved away from the coral and resided in another area of the tank. Day 18 Smaller clown can close his mouth but has a very puffy face. He has a split lip with red around it. Extra vitamins given in his food. Day 23 or 24 lip heals but face still quite puffy and clown moves back into coral Days 25-27 very happy (in coral constantly, nip at each other occasionally, eating well) Day 28 Split caudal fin with cotton on the smaller clown, face more puffy (1/2 is paralyzed?), moves away from hammer again. Still eating well. Larger clown face still puffy (maybe a little less?), living in coral always, eating well. (Is this too much detail? Sorry if so). <Not too much... good to have complete picture> My thought has been "Hopefully this will sort itself out", <And it generally does... Percula/Ocellaris clowns do establish relations with Euphyllias in captivity... often course through the sort of process you relate so well here> since they are eating well and the smaller seems to be managing his illness to some degree on his own. The swollen faces have been for more than 10 days now. They look very much "allergic" and not infectious. I would like to continue to watch it and hope eventually that this will resolve on its own. Is there a time limit for how long I should allow this to go on? <Mmm, no, not really... Till the two species either "agree" or not to associate> Also - the day of the open mouth and swollen faces was the same day my peppermint shrimp was picking on that coral and pulling on its polyps. Would the hammer have been potentially more toxic that day? <Interesting to speculate...> (I have since removed the pep). 2. My multicolor angel (in quarantine day 11) developed 3 white spots (2 on the caudal fin, one on a pectoral fin). These remained for 36 hours and then vanished. Debating on what to do, I coincidentally broke a heater in the tank and had to remove him in order to clear the tank of glass. Therefore, I cleaned out the quarantine tank and have placed entirely new water in the tank. The angel is in a smaller 4 gal holding tank waiting for the water to fully heat and aerate. (I didn't have quite enough water ready for the whole tank). This angel is extremely skittish, <A sign of good health> and I question whether or not he would tolerate a FW dip as he attempts to jump out of the tank upon any slight stressor, although he really looks well otherwise. (During acclimation, he tried to jump out several times, even with a lid on - also tried to jump out when I had to net him to remove from the QT and clean the class out.) I am on the fence of "Oh no I need to do something" and "Let's see what happens" due to my lack of experience overall. <I would, do default to the latter... non-action in cases of doubt> Trying the minimal approach when possible. Do you have any tips for doing a FW dip in a skittish fish, or would you just skip it altogether? <As you hint at, to be in constant attendance, make sure the dip container is covered...> When I dipped my coral beauty angel a number of weeks ago (since then I killed her with copper despite my attempts at careful dosing, thus my aversion to any intervention unnecessary) I was amazed at the things I saw coming out of her and falling off of her (flukes and such), so I do think FW dips can be helpful. Sorry for the long descriptions. Thank you for your assistance. Lynn M <Thank you for writing so well; completely and clearly... There are some "extra" ideas, methods that might be added to my long-stated dip/bath protocol. For instance, the use of practical anesthetics (akin to "doggy downers" for canines that need to have their nails trimmed let's say)... "Hypno" by Jungle Labs is "over the counter", and there are other materials that might be profitably employed... Bob Fenner>

Flame angel and possible ich treatment  12/13/08 Dear Crew, <Carolyn> Once again I feel I need your wisdom..! Think I've found the answer on the site but want to confirm that I'm thinking along the right lines... <Okay> I introduced a new flame angel to my 600l system two days ago, he was suitably disease free for the weeks prior to addition to the display and was given a preventative bath prior to addition. Immediately, my Lamarck's female went for him and hassled him for about 4 hours non stop. This chasing rapidly ended due to a bit of careful reworking of the rocks, so they were all too busy exploring to bother about the new arrival. This afternoon he seems to have a few white spots on him, notably on his fins and one side. He's feeding well, is swimming and behaving normally and isn't scratching or visiting the cleaning stations around the tank. Am I right in thinking that it is worth leaving him where he is but keeping a close eye on the situation? <This is what I would do, yes> The QT is cleaned and ready to use again should it be necessary but I get the impression from reading that the stress may cause him to succumb fully? <Is possible... and more likely with moving> Obviously it would be my worse nightmare for an outbreak of ich to spread round the tank, but I want to do what's best for all the animals. Knowing that angels don't take well to extended copper treatment, I've also got some formalin on hand incase needed. The other fish in the tank are: 3 carberryi anthias 1 mandarin 1 Copperband 1 female Lamarck angel (juvenile) 2 Firefish/fire gobies 2 false Perc clowns 1 Randall's shrimp goby/shrimp pair Water parameters: ammonia/nitrite 0ppm nitrate <5ppm phosphate no detectable calcium 450ppm dKH 12 pH approx. 8 Once again, many thanks in advance for any advice you can give. Carolyn <Let's see if this animal's immune system kicks in sufficiently... Bob Fenner>

Copper Treatment For Butterflies/Dwarf Angelfish 12/11/08 Hi Crew? <James today, Mark> Quick question (I hope!) I have had Heniochus Butterfly and a Coral Beauty in my QT since purchase 10 days ago. I performed a FW and Methylene blue dip prior to placing in tank Each fish has a small white spot on a fin and I am observing closely for parasite infestation. I have read on your site that the dwarf angels to not do well with copper treatment. Is this an absolute contraindication or a relative contraindication. I have Cupramine at home and am ready to pull the trigger or should I be going a different direction? <Mark, if it were me, I'd keep a close eye on the spots. Your Heniochus and Coral Beauty are more sensitive to copper than most other marine fish. Treating with copper would be the last resort (personal opinion) as it does suppress the immune function and is highly stressful to fish. Hyposalinity might be a better choice for you right now. I have used Cupramine in the past and in my experience it has been more effective and tolerated much better than other forms of copper. I believe Seachem recommends a 5ppm dose, but I wouldn't go this high for these fish. In the past, I've treated dwarf angels with a 4ppm dose and it proved to be effective. You must test twice daily and maintain the 4ppm to be effective, and test with a test kit that will correctly measure the type of copper you are using.> THANKS SO MUCH! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Flame angel with ich, 8/27/08 Hi, I recently purchased a flame angel. <Hello> Within a few days of being in my quarantine tank he started developing white spots on his fins. <Glad you QTed I bet.> I read that angels are sensitive to copper so I decided to try hyposalinity. <Not as sensitive as some others, chelated copper is often tolerated and effective. otherwise I might try quinine here.> I have had the salinity at 1.012 for four days and been giving him daily freshwater dips for 5-8 minutes. <This is not low enough, 1.009 is where you need to be, and you need to be accurate, use a refractometer.> After the first dips the ich seemed to disappear only to come back with a vengeance two days later. <Typical of the Ich parasite.> He now has many white spots on his body as well as his fins. He is still eating well, doesn't scratch against anything, but he does seem irritated and a little jumpy. <Probably uncomfortable.> Should I start treating with copper and slowly raise the salinity? <I would, but make sure to use chelated copper.> I worry about waiting too long before trying something else because the last fish I had that got the ich died because I started treating him with copper a day after he stopped eating. <Quick action does help, but so does a good plan. Daily water changes and siphoning of the bottom of the tank will help reduce the number of parasites until a proper copper treatment can begin.> The ich went away but he never ate again. I also worry that if the hyposalinity starts working it won't completely kill off the ich and the angel will carry it to my main tank. Thanks, Brendon <If done correctly hypo should work, but it is more difficult than it seems due to the small window of effectiveness, too low and the fish suffers, too high and the ich keeps on going. I would use a chelated copper here.> <Chris>

Ich?, Marine Angels 7/29/08 I have a question for the WWM Crew. <Fire away.> I bought a flame angelfish as well as a lawnmower blenny about a month ago. They were both perfectly fine and I acclimated them to my 75 gallon tank. <QTed?> They have been doing very well eating all the algae in my tank and swimming happily. The only thing is that I noticed that the angel had gotten a few white spots which I thought was Ich. I was going to treat him the next day but when I looked at him the spots were gone. <But not the infestation of the tank if it is ich. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm .> The spots have been coming and going the whole time I have had the fish now. I did a water change on the tank today and when I came home from work several hours later the white spots are worse than ever. I didn't know if maybe it could be air bubbles from turning on our filter or if it really could be Ich. Any help would really be appreciated. Thank you. <Hard to say without a picture, due to Ich's lifecycle it too can come and go in appearance. Take a look in our marine disease section and compare the pictures to what your fish is showing. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm .> <Chris>

Angelfish, Crypt, etiology... reading  07/08/08 Hi to all. I have am having a problem with my juvenile emperor angel and to a lesser degree my yellow wrasse which I have had for 9 days. Both fish are in qt. and seemed fine before I went on a 4 day vacation. When I returned my angel was very discolored and covered in white spots (ich) I believe. (day 1) I dipped both fish in fresh water and Methylene blue for 10 minutes and but them back in qt. <... Back into the infested system?> over night.(day2) The wrasse looked fine the next morning but my angel was looking worse and becoming lethargic so I dipped both fish again in saltwater from my main aquarium and dosed with 2 teaspoons of formalin3 in 1 gallon of water for 40 minutes and then returned them back to qt.(day3) <... tell me, not back to the infested system> Angel's color is returning and is feeding very well his tail has become ragged I suspect from the formalin3, no more spots or specks of white. My question is, I have not treated my qt. with any medications and I don't know if I should, I have stressed these guys out enough. I also did a 50% water change while the fish were in qt. Do I treat with Cupramine or just wait and see on a day to day. thanks in advance for any advice. Mike

Re: Angel fish 07/08/08 > Thanks for the quick response, > The answer to your question is yes I did put the fish back in the untreated tank in a panic because I didn't know if I should treat the tank with copper after just dipping them in formalin3. <One approach...> > I have now started to treat the qt. with Cupramine first dose 1ml for 48 hrs. then repeat, <... need, absolutely to get/use a chelated copper test kit. NOT to just add> I hope this works the fish are too nice to lose. > thanks again any more input would be great. > Mike <... my friend... Read where you were referred to. BobF>

Need an opinion on ick treatment   7/5/08 Hello, <Hi there> I need your much appreciated advise regarding ich treatments. My tank is a 300 gallon sps setup with two tuff stuff 140 gallon tubs connected by two 3" bulkheads; <Nice> one currently is holding the skimmer and the other is used as a refugium with Chaetomorpha algae. My display is over 2 years old with a 4" layer of fine sand and about two hundred and fifty pounds of live rock. My ammonia is undetectable; so is the nitrite. My nitrates are about 2.5 and pH ranges from 8.2 - 8.4. Alkalinity is at 9dKH and calcium is around 450. <Very good> I always tried to maintain salinity at 1.025, however after buying a refractometer three days ago I realized my water was actually at 1.030; so I lowered it to 1.025 within three days. <Mmm, I would take a week or longer here> I currently have the following fish: - 4" Majestic angelfish - 4" Coral Beauty - 2" ocellaris clown - Two 3" black saddleback clowns - 3.5" melanurus wrasse - 3" Lawnmower blenny - 3.5 yellow eye Kole tang - 4" Pacific Blue tang - 4.5" Powder blue tang By now I'm pretty sure you know where this is going. I got the powder blue about two months ago. I quarantine it for a month without any signs of ick, so I placed it in the display. None of my fish bothered it, he became the dominant fish right away. About two weeks after being placed in the display, I noticed he had what seemed to be ick. I obviously somehow introduced the parasite, so I was wondering what could have triggered this. <Perhaps the rapid change in SPG> Does the tank have a high Bio-load, <No> could the high salinity I had previously mentioned started this <Yes> or could it be the current heat wave which elevated the temperature to 84 degrees <Could be a co-factor> the one day I forgot to turn on the cooling fans. My display temperature is always at 80 to 82 degrees. I also had to remove a 5" blue throat trigger which the powder blue could not stand and chased a few times a day; I wonder if that stressed him enough. <This too> I waited a few days before taking further and appropriate action. At this point the powder blue is full of ick but eats well. My yellow eye which only grazes of the rocks and the glass is now also full. <This is something else> The Pacific blue gets the spots to a lesser degree on and off. The rest of the fish don't show any signs, however based on your web page I know all the fish need to be treated. <Yes...> After doing my research I need to remove all the fish and leave the tank fallow 8-10 weeks. I need your advise on how to properly remove the ick from the fish. My plan was to begin with the three tangs, giving them a formalin bath as per bottle recommendations, then placed in a 60 gallon quarantine. <Good> My question is whether I should add Cupramine to the 60 gallon quarantine tank at .35ppm <At the highest concentration...) for two weeks <Is one approach... you might want to try Chloroquine phosphate... IF the infestation is not too "deep", hyperinfective, this anti-malarial may destroy it (rather than simply arrest the present development)> then moved to a 150 gallon holding tank while I place the rest of the fish through the same procedure and while the display goes fallow. However I'm scared the copper might damaged the intestinal bacteria the tangs have, or if I might be doing more damage to my angels. <A distinct possibility> The other plan was to not use the copper and give the fish a formalin bath every other day for two weeks, then skip the 60 gallon with copper and place them into the 150 with newly mixed water. <Another approach... but likely more harmful than chelated copper exposure at the lower effective range (.0.15 ppm free Cu++)> My last idea was just one Formalin bath then placed in the 150 for observation. I believe I read many are not big fans of Formalin, as it is toxic, however I figured the copper might do more damage but I could be wrong. <Is very toxic... but effective for "surface" complaints> Please help me figure out which would be my best option. Also how would you recommend keeping the ammonia and nitrite down on either the 60 or 150 spare tanks with new saltwater. <Changing it...> Is Amquel or any ammonia sponge good or are water changes the only option. <Mmm, the latter may be worth trying... most water conditioners remove copper...> The sponges I had for biological filters in the sump most likely have ick so I don't want to introduce it to the quarantine. Thanks and keep up the good work. <I empathize with your situation... Would try the Chloroquine on the Tangs, Angels... and see if this does the job, along with the one-time/moving formalin/aerated bath. Bob Fenner>

Another ich question... perhaps   04/14/2008 Hi Crew, I know you don't get tired of these... an ich question. On Friday I picked up a latticed butterfly and put it in a QT. All appeared to be fine. Saturday it had 3 spots on its tail fin... and I know it's ich. <... maybe> Since researching WWM I know they are sensitive to chelated copper. I did do a fw dip with meth. blue for 4 min... fish was extremely stressed. I had Cupramine on hand but didn't have a Seachem test kit. I found one in town, went and got it. Came back and dosed as directed. Tested the tank and got no results. According to the FAQs on WWM this is not too uncommon. Here's the problem. I have no way of testing this copper within the 48 hours as recommended... any suggestions on another way to test? Also fish seems a little stressed, would it be prudent to filter the copper out and try another method, formalin dips or 50% water changes every other day for 2 weeks, to combat this? Thank you Jennifer <I would hold off on treatment period... this may well not be Ich/Cryptocaryon... are the spots located directly over the fin rays? Possibly these are just reaction sites from rough netting... A well-resolved picture would help... Bob Fenner>
Re: Another ich question...  - 04/14/08
Hi Bob, Update: Sunday I did a 50% water change (using main tank water) and am currently using a PolyFilter to get the copper out. I would have sent pics but they are too small to see in the pic, not to mention the little bugger wouldn't sit still. 1 of the 3 spots is gone. The spots are not on the fin rays they are on the very edge of the fin. <Both telling... this is not Cryptocaryon> At what point do you think I'll know for sure it's ich and what would be your recommendation for treatment given that latticed butterflyfish are copper sensitive? <... posted... In general, best to use quinine.> Is Cupramine ok for this fish? <IF it had something for which Copper is useful to treat...> I have researched this disease to death so I am quite familiar with its' lifecycle and the treatments. I just don't think this fish was doing well with the Cupramine, stationary in the corner, heavy breathing. Since the water change moving around more and normal respiration. <Thank goodness> And FYI on the SeaChem test results.. according to SeaChem if there is a lot # on the powder reagent then that is the problem. <?!> They have revamped their test kits. Thank you Bob Jennifer <And you Jen. BobF>
Re: Another ich question...  - 04/15/08
Dear Bob and I say dear because if you don't think this is ich I'll sing your praises even more than I already do!! In all of the research that I have done I have yet to see that the spots needed to be on the fin rays but it does make sense. The 2 remaining spots are gone. She hasn't scratched that I've seen but I try to stay out of the room to keep her stress level down. <Good point, practice> I shall continue with water changes to keep up water quality. She hasn't eaten since I brought her home but seems interested in picking at tank wall and floor. <What they do> I've put mysis shrimp in the clam shell as suggested on WWM but nothing. I'll try other tricks. <Fresh/er live rock...> Thank you again Bob for all of your great advice!! Jen <Welcome! BobF>
Re: Another ich question... 4/15/08
I wrestled with the live rock idea because if it was ich meds would kill...well you know the rest. However, she did eat some shrimp. By the way I did see those 2 spots after all on her tail (had to press my face against the glass), which now makes 48 hours. Thanks again, Bob! Jennifer <Jen, can you send a well-resolved, close-up pic? BobF>

Re: Another ich question...  4/16/08 Bob, I don't know "well resolved" these photos are but it's the best I could get. It was stressing her out. The spots have gotten a little bigger. You can see them at the very edge of her tail. I did another 50% water change siphoning the bottom. Just out of curiosity if quinine is so effective and is safe for sharks why isn't it the cure most recommended overall? Thanks Bob. Jennifer <Mmm... this is almost certainly NOT Cryptocaryon... on the basis of placement, size, and the lack elsewhere on the body. What it is... likely... is Lymphocystis... a viral-environmental-stress complaint. NOT treatable by "medicines" per se, but ameliorated via environmental improvement, enhanced nutrition, alleviating/lowering stress overall. Do know that this species of Butterfly is NOT easily kept in captivity... Bob Fenner>

Re: Another ich question...  4/16/08 Bob, That is great news!!! I've dealt with Lympho before.. you actually helped me through it with my coral beauty. He's thriving in the display tank. I'm sending another pic for better clarity. I took my book (your book) into the LFS for reference and I was positive this was a Latticed Butterflyfish. If not then what is it? Thank you. Jennifer <... is a Raffle's... see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/Goodchaetodon.htm This one is dangerously thin. I would move it post haste to permanent quarters... with plenty of live rock, other feeding. B>

Re: Another ich question...  4/17/08 She started eating mysis shrimp yesterday.. couple times a day. I put a well algae covered piece of live rock in with her today that she's picked at some. Thanks for all of your help and reassurance!! Jennifer <Ahh! Good news... and yes to there being a few common names for this Chaetodon species. Cheers! BobF>

Re: Another ich question... BF not eating 04/21/08 Hi Bob.. need some help. My Chaetodon has pretty much stopped eating. It was picking at the live rock and has now ceased doing that. I've tried everything I can find on WWM... mysis, Cyclops, clam, krill, worms.. nothing. Now she stays in the corner of the tank where as she was actively swimming around. I'm concerned. The only thing I didn't try was brine. Any ideas what I can try? Thank you. Jennifer P.S. The Lympho spots fell off. <This BF is in your main tank now I take it. I would avail yourself of appetite stimulants... my fave are those containing Selco's product. Bob Fenner>

Re: Another ich question... 04/22/08 Thank you. I'll shop around for Selco products and give it a try. Jennifer <Please do so... and quickly. Selcon is a fave and quite readily available. As stated early on the Lattice/Raffle's butterflyfish is not easily kept in general... mostly due to feeding (or lack thereof) issues... B>

Re: Another ich question...04/22/08 Perhaps I misunderstood, but I chose this BF due to it being listed on the "good Chaetodon" list as noted in the link in your previous email and in the Conscientious Marine Aquarist. Is this going to be a losing battle or should I try to take him back to the LFS? Jennifer <Mmmm, I do concur with you re this fish's listing... how to put this... the Raffle's is on the border of good to medium for Chaetodontids... not amongst the "best" choices (e.g. Aurigas, Raccoons...). IF the folks will take this fish back, I might return it, but it will very likely perish due to further handling... How to further elaborate re BF's? I have friends in the trade who won't/don't handle the family period... Due to too many "anomalous deaths"... One way of stating this is some sort of arbitrary scale could be made for all fishes, livestock viability... with BF's starting at half the score/scale period. Bob Fenner>

Re: Another ich question... BF 4/23/08 That's good to know. If this one doesn't make it I'll will give up on the BFs. There is a LFS that I usually buy all livestock from and they told me they won't sell BFs because they don't live long in captivity...should have listened to them. Thank you for all your help, Bob, it is very much appreciated!! Jennifer <Welcome Jen! BobF>

Angel Help Please... parasites   7/11/07 Hi I have 2 Angels A Koran and Imperator. One came down with what I thought was ich. I started giving him dips in Formalin 3 by Kordon which has saved a few fish for me in the past. I didn't want to treat the tank is why I use dips as I have in the past with good results. <As part of a careful regimen... returning the fishes to another, parasite-free setting...> Now the fish still has a velvet looking dusting on them and the fins are nubs. There eyes were clouded over and bulging out but that has gotten better They stopped eating today also. I was feeding very lightly. I also added Melafix to help promote skin and fin healing. <... of no use whatsoever> Well I'm afraid they are going to die today if I don't do something? <Soon> I sent pics and hope you can point me in the right direction. I'm going to be so bummed. I love your site and it has helped me and I can see others very much and I Thank You Rick <Well... not much can be definitively discerned from such/said photos... You might have another or combination infestation going here... No way to tell w/o microscopic examination. But I would be treating for Amyloodinium (see WWM re) concurrently... Please scan/read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: Angel Help Please 7/11/07 Thanks Im learning so many mistakes I have made since reading your site. Im headed to the store for some copper and a copper test kit. To save me time could you tell me if I should treat for a secondary infection with Maracyn or Maracyn 2. Thanks Again and wish me luck! Rick <Mmm, no. RMF>

Re: Angel Help Please 7/11/07 OK Thanks Again. I went to the store and bought some CopperSafe. Its all they had. I almost didn't want to use it when I got home because all things considering they looked a little better when I got home with the copper. I have a 29 gallon hospital tank but put the Angels in a bucket with 4 gallons of water from the hospital tank. I was afraid to treat the tank and get new tank syndrome? Will I? <Please read re....> I also bought a copper test kit. I have read a copper concentration of 0.15 - 0.20 ppm is most effective. <No... please read....> Well the CopperSafe says use 1 tsp per 4 gallons of water and will give a 1.5 ppm to 2.0 ppm. Says it can be used that way because it has a cleating agent. Have you had good luck with CopperSafe? <...> I went to 2 different pet stores and that's all they had. I sure want these guys to make it. There like dogs to me now and eat right from my hand. Also you guys are such a huge help to me and many others. How do you do it? <I key quickly> Do you have services and products you offer? I would like to swing any business in the future your way in appreciation. Thanks Rick <... Please... there is precious little time for your livestock... Learn to/use the indices, search tool on WWM re these (and many other questions that will come up); there is no time to go back/forth here with all you likely need to know. BobF> Re: Angel Help Please 7/11/07 Hi Im treating with the CopperSafe now in a 5 gallon bucket and they have been it for 3 hours or so. <?!> I just checked the water and the ammonia is shooting up 1.5 ppm. I just changed the water again. Should I do dips from the copper water to the hospital tank? Im afraid the ammonia spikes will kill them. Thanks Again Rick <Please... RMF>

Re: Angel Help Please   7/13/07 Well the Koran didn't make it. <Jamie... you didn't read...> The reason I would treat in a 5 gallon bucket <Where did anyone suggest treating marines in a bucket?> is I didn't want to kill my water in the hospital tank with the copper. <This makes no sense> Left them in there for 4-5 hours then put them back in the hospital tank. If my hospital crashes I would have no where to put them. <Have to keep changing the water...> Im somewhat confused by the instructions to treat the tank. How do I do that when after I treat within a half hour the ammonia spikes up? <This IS ALL posted> What is the best way to work with this CopperSafe? The instructions don't give details about the ammonia? The good news is the Imperator Angel looks great today in the hospital tank and is eating again and eyes focusing, has a lot of color back. Bad news is the tang is sick in the main tank. Your answers last time were somewhat vague? What I want to know is if I treat with CopperSafe? What do I do when ammonia shoots up? I would to treat on a ongoing basis until there completely cured but with the ammonia shooting up I wont have a place to treat. Thanks In Advance Rick <Please... don't write... READ. B>

Re: Angel Help Please  7/13/07 I treat in a 5 gallon bucket because I didn't want the hospital tank to crash. If I use copper or any med just about for that matter it will. I have read your site and did searches for hours now and maybe I missed it but if I do treat the hospital tank? How often should I change the water? I have read everything about a QT tank except I don't see anything about the ammonia spikes and water changes when it does. Also this might be a dumb question to you but do I just change the water with premixed RO water that hasn't cycled? That is my main question here? The Imperator Angel looks real good now. Its unbelievable how he's improved in 1 day from the 5 hour copper dip. I want to keep treating but want to know for sure about the water changes and if its ok to RO water premixed without it cycling for such a large water change. I don't want to keep taking water from my display tank because it will crash if I keep taking and adding water. If you could please answer my question about the water change I will leave you guys be for awhile till my next major crisis comes up. Thanks For The Great Help Rick <You're writing... B>

The Eighth-Millionth Ich-Related Question 07/04/07 Dear Bob & Crew, <<Hi Mike...EricR here>> How nice to have a "go to" resource in times of need/confusion. (after reading WWM articles and FAQ's on the subject until my eyes fell out, of course. Optometrist appt. tomorrow) <<Hee-hee! I just had mine "lasered" a week ago myself! We're happy to be here for you...>> I currently have an approx. 3" Longnose Butterfly in quarantine. Fish "seemed" to be healthy, alert, active and was eating at LFS. Transported in BIG bag as per WWM handling instructions. <<Okay>> Thanks to The Contentious Marine Aquarist, for making me quarantine first or this could have been really ugly. (Main tank is fine, knock, knock.) <<Indeed>> This is the Butterfly I quarantined with the Blood Shrimp to help keep him calm. This Butterfly has been my most relaxed in QT yet. (eating Mysis) <<Cool>> QT is basic 10gal with 10lbs LR and 1/2" Reef Sand, Hang-on Filter with Bio Wheel and a heater. (LR and Sand might have to be exchanged for PVC here? Garbage is on Tuesdays) <<Ah yes, as you are likely aware the rock/substrate can/will harbor disease organisms. Best to go "bare-bottom" and use something for "cover" likely eh PVC that can be "sterilized" or easily/cheaply replaced if need be. Also, Im compelled to mention that 10-gallons is really too small for all but the smallest fish speciesdo consider a 29-gallon or larger tank for your QT system>> Approx. 10% water changes done weekly. Temp 76deg. pH 8.2. No measurable amounts of ammonia, nitrites or nitrates. Just like my main tank with one exception. I keep my S.G. low to start (1.019) to match the LFS tanks so I can acclimate stressed fish quickly on arrival (1 hr.) while supposedly reducing the chances of Ich while fish is still new and stressed. <<Okaybut a pH and temperature balanced freshwater dip would probably go further/be more effective re the Ich. And keeping the salinity up in the QT will definitely be better for the shrimp>> I have been watching the shrimp - fine active and eating under these conditions. Is this a mistake on my part to QT like this even if I bring up SG slowly near end of QT period? <<Mmm, hard to sayhypo-salinity is generally not recommended for inverts, but while in QT, its initial/short-term use may reduce stress on the fishesthough I do not condone its use in the display tank. And as mentioned, a properly prepared freshwater dip going in and coming out of QT is a good practice/prophylactic treatment>> Go figure. My first contented, relaxed fish in QT is developing "spots". (did I thank the book yet that it's not in my main tank?) <<An oft stress-induced response to handling/transport. Andhave you also considered this ailment may not have come with the fish but may have been awaiting in the QT amongst the sand/live rock?>> Started with two noticeable spots on the tail. Now up to about four, and one on his left fin. Not one spot on it's body, yet. It's been a few days since I noticed the first couple. Fish behavior "appears" to be ok. Appetite is good. Shrimp is not cleaning. (and just when I wanted him to make me proud) <<Hmm, you said this was a Blood shrimp (Lysmata debelius) yes? The Striped Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) is a better choice for cleaner duty in my opinion>> These spots are NOT "white" like grains of salt though. They are just noticeable small obscure spots on otherwise transparent tail and fin. <<Maybe they went unnoticed/were there all along. Maybe they are bits of sand/detritus from the QT>> It is difficult to tell if they are on the surface even after considerable staring, blinking and eye rubbing. Lighting has to be just so to see the spots, but they are definitely there. <<Might be nothing to worry about at all>> Also, mouth and base of fins are ok, but there is a noticeable, depending on light, internal redness right through the middle of this fish from behind head to tail that seems to come and go. Not always apparent. <<Hmm>> I have not increased the SG and am now slowly raising tank temp just in case. First question: Are these two findings related? <<Im not convinced they are findings yet>> Second question: If the spots are NOT really white like grains of salt and not noticeably on the surface, what could it be, if not Ich? <<Mmm, very difficult to speculateand may be nothing at all>> Is it Canadian Ich? (That's a joke, by the way, even if it is a poor one) <<Ha!>> Third question: I read all about the freshwater dip treatment shortly after reading (before buying this fish) all about the risks of handling, netting fragile Longnoses. Is the risk of repeated handling worth it yet or do I wait a bit and observe. <<At this point I am inclined to just continue observation. If this is a condition, the fishs immune system may well handle/be handling it. But regarding the netting of this fish, if/when handling becomes necessary; consider using a hard-sided container (like those used to hold netted fishes at the LFS) to capture/move the fish between vessels>> Last(?) question: If I have to treat the tank, do I have to move the blood shrimp. <<Yes>> If I do, is it safe to move this shrimp to the main tank or is he guilty by association and gets solitary confinement as well? <<Though these inverts are not typically hosts of the same protozoan infections we see on/treat our fishes for, they can be carriers of same>> Sorry to have to send you your eight-millionth Ich related question, <<Aha! You just gave me the title for this query! [grin]>> but it does not seem like an open and shut case, and my concern is a misdiagnosis might be worse than none at all. <<Understoodbut I do think patience/continued observation is called for at the moment>> Thanks, eh. Mike from Canada <<Cheers mate. EricR-visiting in beautiful San Diego>>
Re: The Eight-Millionth Ich-Related Question 07/04/07
Dear Crew & Bob (in this case - sorry Bob) <<Hell be crushedwellnoprobably not [grin]>> Thank you Eric. <<Quite welcome>> Your answers were very insightful and your efforts were not in vain. <<Cool>> First of all, I always thought the day might come when I would run into a problem and have to trash the LR and sand in the QT, but I never considered the fact that the LR and or sand could actually be the host/cause of a disease or problem. <<Mmm, wellnot so much hosting but more like providing hiding places for cysts/larvae (can siphon a bare bottom during water changes) and absorbing medicants from previous treatments. But still, best to use a plastic medium you can bleach or even discard between quarantine sessions>> This makes perfect sense and I can't believe I missed it (Head Slap)! <<ouch!>> Also, I see that the idea that the Butterfly is picking up these things on a tail or fin from the LR etc., is also a strong possibility now that you mention it (Another Head Slap)! <<Careful matedont want to shake something loose>> I will know soon enough. <<Ah yes>> From now on, we can refer to this syndrome as "Canadian Ich", eh. (Doh!) <<Ha!>> I will increase the size of the QT as suggested and keep it bare bottom with some inorganic cover. <<Excellent>> I will also include the "Dip" into this fish's schedule with your handling suggestions. After that, patience and continued observation it is. <<Very good, Grasshopper>> All great advise that make perfect sense. <<My fingers are crossed that this is so>> People, we have a plan! <<Woo-hoo!>> Consider it done. Now, off to the LFS before they close to spend more money! <<Cha-ching!>> My fish thank you. <<A pleasure to assist>> Mike from Canada, eh. <<Regards, EricR>>
Re: Keeping Cleaner Shrimp / Butterfly Possible Ich  7/2/07
Thanks for all your help Bob. Unfortunately Spike, (the Longnose) did not make it past his fourth day. The mail order supplier has offered to replace or refund including shipping so I will be trying again. I have yet to decide if risking overnight shipping is a good idea. However before I attempt that, I have to assume that the white spots on the caudal fin were crypt and therefore the QT is now infected. As the QT has a very strong biological filter that's been running for several months, I would rather not strip down and disinfect the QT. I have turned the temp up to 85F <I'd raise this to 90 F.> and am considering lowering SG for a period. <A good idea> I will also be removing the substrate but leaving the live rock & Eheim Classic as a filter. Is there anything else you would suggest ? Also, what minimum fallow time period would you recommend ? The normal 28 days ? <This should do it at the elevated temp. and lowered spg.> Finally, when removing from the bag into QT I used a large plastic slotted spoon, thinking it was better than a net - perhaps a bad idea in retrospect. <Mmm, I'd use a soft net... or even my hand with Butterflyfishes (not all other fish families though for sure)> Do you have any other ideas that are more gentle. I thought about lowering the water in the bag to a minimum and letting it swim out but wasn't sure on the dangers of allowing the bag water into the QT after a 24 hour journey. Thanks -Peter <Do read here re Guerilla Acclimation: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm You want to measure, do a few things to account for the lowered pH, high nitrogenous wastes in the shipping water and stock when it's been in transit this long. Bob Fenner>

Ich, Copperband Butterfly 6/27/07 Hi crew! <Hello> Quick question.. I searched and maybe there is no answer to this but I'm asking anyway. I have a copperband butterfly fish in QT (6 days now). It has ich and I have been treating with Rid Ich+(4 days now). <Toxic stuff, not one of my choices for treatment.> She (assuming) eats like a pig, swims great, but her gills seem to be pumping harder than they should. <Probably a combination of the Ich's effects on the gills and lower O2 levels caused by the medications.> I know this is due to the parasite. I did a freshwater dip with methylene blue last night for 9 minutes for external parasites...she was fine. <Good> Is there anything I can do to make her more comfortable or to make her gills not have to work so hard?. or do I have to wait for this parasite to get out of her gills? <Increasing circulation will help.> I know this may sound like a stupid question. <Is not> But I've read on WWM on copperband butterflyfish being fragile and she is a fighter. I don't want to lose her...she already eats from my hand. Thanks! Jen <Good luck> <Chris>
Re: Ich, Copperband Butterfly 6/27/07
Thanks Chris for the quick response! <Sure> Rid Ich was not my first choice either but from everything I read on WWM they are extremely sensitive to copper and I have never had any luck with hypo. <True, I probably would have gone with straight Formalin, instead of the Formalin/malachite green in Rid Ich+, a little less toxic.> I had sent quite a few emails to WWM concerning the best course of treatment but couldn't get a definitive answer. I know there are not a lot of absolutes in this hobby, especially when it comes to this nasty parasite. <Lots of different ideas out there, best bet is to stick with the basics.> I do have a filter rated for a 40 gal on the QT so the water is circulated quite well, should I add an airpump to this as well for aeration? <Could, but probably unnecessary.> When would it be safe to do another dip? <Have to go on your judgment there, if it seems strong enough go for it.> Thanks! <Welcome> <Chris>
Re: Ich, Copperband Butterfly 6/27/07
Chris, do you think it would be too late to PolyFilter out the Rid Ich and treat with Formalin? Would it be too much on the fish? Thanks! <At this point I would probably just continue with the current treatment, stopping and starting all over again would probably be too stressful. Watch your water quality carefully and the fish's behavior.> <Chris>
Re: Ich, Copperband Butterfly 6/27/07
Ok, thanks...she's not eating as well today. Thank you again. Jennifer <As long as she is eating some I would not worry too much about it. If she stops completely then starting thinking about taking action.>
Re: Ich, Copperband Butterfly 6/28/07
Ok, good to know...she is eating better now. <Good, probably just not hungry before.> Per Rid Ich's instructions since today is the 3rd day of treatment after signs of ich have disappeared (external spots) I'll change 40% of the water and see what happens. <Give her a full 6 weeks in QT to make sure it doesn't return.> Question: Is Formalin always a better solution than Rid Ich.. if given a choice between the two? Thanks! Jennifer <Formalin is in Rid Ich+, along with malachite green, which are both effective but quite toxic. I feel that since the formalin alone can cure the ich, that hitting the fish with malachite green as well is overkill and exposing the fish to unnecessary medication. I forgot to link you to this article, its one of my favorites. http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php .> <Chris>
Re: Ich, Copperband Butterfly 6/29/07
6 weeks in the QT is definitely the plan! <Good> And if ich does flare up again I'll treat with formalin only...what's the point of the malachite if formalin alone will kill the ich? <Differentiate themselves form the competition and marketing, if 1 medication works well, 2 must work twice is well.> Thanks for the link. I'll check it out! While I've got you I have a pink watchman goby in a qt for 6 days now. He was in with the copperband for 1 day then I discovered ich and I put the goby in a separate QT. No signs of ich...how long should I leave him in the QT? <At least 6 weeks, and watch very closely, assume it has ich unless it can prove otherwise.> According to WWM FAQ gobies don't fair well in a QT for very long. What do you think? <I would assume it is carrying ich, so it will need the full QT.> Thanks again! <Welcome> <Chris>
Re: Ich, Copperband Butterfly 6/29/07
Thanks for all the great info Chris! I now have a plan of attack and am better armed! Thanks again!! Jennifer <Great!> <Chris>
Re: Ich, Copperband Butterfly 7/2/07
Chris, I read the link you sent. Do you recommend the formalin dip or treating the whole tank? <I prefer treating the whole tank.> I noticed what looks like a spot today, but it is rather large right on her lateral line and I'm wondering if it's another problem or an she scraped herself on a divider in the tank she uses to hide behind. <Could be.> Whew and I was worried I wouldn't have anything to do for awhile...haha! <Keep on trucking.> Thank you again for you patience! Jennifer <Welcome> <Chris>

Ich on sensitive fish?   6/24/07 Hello again crew!! Well.. I'm back again and since I dodged the ich bullet in my main tank I wanted to add more fish. So I started up a QT, did my research on the fish compatible (size and temperament) and went hunting. I bought a copperband butterflyfish and a pink and blue goby. They were in the same tank, had been in the LFS for a month and both ate like pigs. I brought them home and put them in the bare bottom QT, although there is some LR for the butterfly to graze on (I'll remove if need be). Two days later I see a spot on the butterflyfish. From what I see on WWM these are both sensitive fish to ich treatments. I have chelated copper , formalin and Cupramine on hand. Should I remove the goby to a separate tank.. I have a 5 gal I could quickly set up. Please advise on best treatment. I've grown quite attached to the butterflyfish.. it's very friendly. By the way...is there a way to tell if it's a male or female? As always...I'm in your debt!!!! Thank you! Jennifer <What I know re is posted on WWM. BobF>  

Is this Crypt ? Doubtful  5/9/07 Hey Crew,      I recently added some snails to my FOWLR after a 2-3 week quarantine in a reef tank that had no fish.  The reef tank is a 55 g system that has been "closed" to  new additions for 8 months and has no fish.  On day 4 after adding the snails I noted this on the right pec fin of my Emperor Angel. <This system is too small for this species> There have been no additions to this tank for over one year and the tank has been disease free for 2 years.  Is this crypt on the right pec of my angel ?  The fish is acting fine looks good, eats like a pig,  others in the tank are fine.   Thanks Jimmy
<Mmm, not likely. Bob Fenner>
Re: Is this Crypt ?  5/9/07 Hey Bob,      Sorry I did not make myself clear...the Emp. Angel is in a 180g FOWLR.... <Ahh! Thank you for this. The tank did appear larger...> the snails were quarantined in a 55 g reef (no fish) for 2-3 weeks.  Snails then were added to the 180 g FOWLR. I last added snails about 2 years ago and they slowly died off ( turbo snails ) and I needed to add some more... Thanks so much for all of your help over the past couple of years... both of my systems are doing great and much of the info that I have used has come from your book as well as wet web media. All of you do a great job  Jimmy <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Treatment of Marine Ich- Which Option Is Best?  4/4/07 Dear Crew, <Scott F. your Crew member tonight!> I love the site, and I've learned a great deal from it. I think I've read all the articles and FAQ's on your site regarding ich, formalin, and copper, but I still have some questions. I purchased a Flame Dwarf Angel and a Banggai Cardinal a week ago and put them in a 15 gallon QT. Within a few days, the Flame Angel developed ich. <Sorry to hear that- but it's great that you embraced a quarantine procedure! As bad as it sounds, it's better to have the fish come down with an illness in the quarantine tank than in your display system.> I read on your site that flame angels are sensitive to both copper and formalin, but thought the formalin would be the better way to go. <According to most people, it is. I personally have always used chelated copper remedies with good results in Centropyge Angelfishes. You MUST follow the manufacturer's recommendations for dosage and duration to the letter, and be sure to test the copper levels daily to assure that you are maintaining a correct therapeutic dose. Yes, Centropyge can be sensitive to copper, so I guess I cannot say that I "recommend" it for everyone. However, it has been, and will continue to be my remedy of choice for treatment of Cryptocaryon.> I put my first dose of formalin in the QT Sunday, and by Monday night, the flame angel was dead (not a good day). <Sorry to hear that. One of the reasons I like copper is that you can actually test for the concentration, to make sure that you're not overdosing. Nonetheless, many hobbyists use formalin-based products for their treatment of this illness with good results.> With the Flame Angel gone, am I better switching to non-chelated copper with a copper test, or should I continue with the formalin? It sound like copper may be more effective. <Well, you saw my thoughts! I'd stick it out with copper, myself, as outlined above.> Also, I am curing live rock and inadvertently rinse off the live rock in a bucket I had been using for water changes for the QT tank. Do I most likely have ich on my live rock now? And if so, do I need to leave it fallow in my curing tub for another 6 - 8 weeks like I would need to do for a display tank? <A good thought on your part! I would definitely keep it in a separate holding container for the period that you mention. You just have to assume that the rock may be hosting a stage of the causative protozoa, and as such, it's too risky to place it in your display tank yet.> Thanks for your help. <Glad to be of service! Keep up with your excellent observations and intuitive thinking! It will serve you well in this hobby!> P.S. I love CMA, but it is starting to get somewhat dated. Does Bob have any plans of coming out with a second edition? I know I would buy it! <<Thank you for this prompting... Have sent your note to James Lawrence/Microcosm... we never even got the "Reef" version of this work into print! Bob Fenner>> Darren White Downingtown, PA <Well...whaddya think, Bob? Regards, Scott F.>

New Blue-Face Angel with eating woes and ich  3/1/07 Hi Guys, <Hello.> great site. <Thanks.> I added my "center piece" fish last week. <Cool.>   He is a 6 inch adult Blue Face Angel. <Still a little guy.> He is in 125 FOWLR with 100lbs of live <Adequate space for a year or so.> rock.  This system is 1 year old.  His tank mates include 2) 3inch regal tangs, 1) 3inch purple tang, 1) 3inch coral beauty angel, 1) 4inch changing imperator angel, <Mmm...would not have put both these angels in such a confined space.> 1) long nose hawkfish, 1) perc clown 1) purple firefish and 1) black cap Basslet. <Tis a lot of animals for a tank fo this size.>   I also have small cleaner crew that consists of 20 hermits 12 Mexican turbo snails and a two cleaner shrimp.  I did not QT the blue face because of his size (I only had a 10g QT Tank). <Yes, that would not have been pretty.> He was eating Mysis at the LFS and had been there 3 weeks.  He looked perfect.  He hid as expected and did not come out during feedings (3 cubes of Mysis, 1 cube Angel Formula with sponge and a piece of frozen Krill). <I would not begin to worry yet.>   I also clip in a sheet of Green Seaweed.  On day three I saw him eating the krill from the bottom but other than that I have not observed him eating.   <Again too soon to be concerned, and the above behavior is promising.> I have been putting in the food with a baster and leaving right away in the hopes that he is eating when not observed.  The sheet is gone every night and the big pieces of krill are gone within an hour.  He looked good until day Seven (today) when I noticed he had ick or velvet. <Likely ich if not dead yet, velvet is a quick killer, and if he has so does everyone else.> He is actually out in the open alot today but he clearly has the effects of the parasites on his body.   First, what do you recommend to treat him.  I won't to leave him in the tank because of his size.  I don't want to use copper because I'd rather leave the inverts and rock in place. <Read here and subsequent links, (also check reefkeeping online mag. for Steven Pro ich/crypt article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm.>   Second, do you have some better feeding recommendations. <What you are feeding is good, but a larger variety would not hurt, Ocean nutrition makes an angel formula and Selcon wouldn't be a bad vitamin supp.> Thanks in advance and please advise. <Welcome.> Francisco J <Adam J.>

Heniochus acuminatus with Ich 6/23/06 Hi WWM crew!! <Hi> I have an Heniochus acuminatus that show symptoms of ick. <Uh oh> It has white spots, that look like salt. It doesn't have that much but it still concerns me. <It should> It is still eating well. It doesn't breathe rapidly. All the other fish are healthy. <All other fish are infected with Ich, just not symptomatic.> I don't want to treat the main tank, because I have some invertebrate. <Almost always a bad idea.> I am not able to set up a hospital tank, I don't have the space for it, since I live in an apartment. <Really need one, doesnt need to be always set up, can be taken down when not in use.  Without a QT/hospital tank expect to continue to have problems with communicable diseases.> Yesterday, I have give it a freshwater bath( specific gravity: 1.008) with blue methylene for 10 minutes. <Provides temporary relief, not a cure.> But, today, it still shows symptoms of ICK. <Most likely will continue until the ich life cycle is broken.> What should I do to treat my fish? <If you are unable/unwilling to get a hospital/QT tank and remove and treat all fish and allow the tank to run follow there is not much you can do.  Provide good quality water and food and hope the fish's immune system and fight off the ich.> I have bought a Formaldehyde - green malachite solution to use it in a bath, but I am not sure if it is a good idea and how much should I use and for how long. <Toxic stuff, I'm not a big fan of it.  Baths will help temporarily, but when the fish is returned to the tank they will be reinfected.> Could I use copper in a bath that would last for a long time? <Not effective.> If yes, how much should I use and for how long? Any other treatment I could try? <Not that wouldn't nuke the tank.  Medications are not specific enough to kill the ich and not destroy the live rock and biofiltration.>    Thank you very very much!!! I hope my fish will be fine, I really like it!! <Hope so.> Steve T. <Chris>
Heniochus acuminatus with Ich Part II 6/30/06
Hi Chris, <Hi> As per your advice, I am actually looking to setup a hospital tank for my fish, to help to get ride of the ick problem... I have 2 clown fish, 2 green Chromis, 1 neon goby, 1 six line wrasse and the Heniochus. What size of hospital should I go with? <Good to hear, at least a 20 for all those fish.  If easier you could go with a couple of smaller tanks and split up the livestock.> Today the Heniochus have stopped to eat... :( <Uh-oh> What is my best bet with it? Should I give it a freshwater bath until I set-up the hospital tank? Any other ideas? <A bath may help, make sure its ph adjusted and the right temperature.  Try adding either Selcon or garlic to the food.  Both seem to stimulate the feeding response.  If it goes too long try some live brine shrimp.> Thank you very much... Steve <Good luck and remember to QT any new additions to avoid these problems in the future.> <Chris>
Heniochus acuminatus with Ich Part III 7/1/06
Hi again Chris, <Hi> Sorry to bother you again, <No bother.> I promise I will quarantine any new addition to my tank in the future. <Good> But, I just have a idea of what I could try to cure my fish from ick and get it out of my main tank. I know that the WWM crew are not big fan of hyposalinity, but could I just buy a tank (the one I would use in the future to quarantine any new addition) and use it to put all my hermit crab. They are the only invert I have in my system. I would put many pieces of live rock with them. So I would not kill all the zooplankton in LR and the crabs would be more safe... Could I lower the SPG in the main tank to kill the ick in it? I would keep the hermit crab apart for 6 weeks. Would it be effective? If yes, at what SPG would it cure the fish without being stressful to the fish? I have read from ATJ (the only name I have found of that guy) that the SPG should be at 1.009 to kill the ick. You can see this article here : '' http://www.petsforum.com/personal/trevor-jones/hyposalinity.html'' What do you think of that? <Well, it will get rid of the Ich if kept at that salinity long enough.  However, it will also kill off most of your live rock, and in the process cause a huge ammonia spike.  If you remove all the LR there will probably not be sufficient biofiltration and cause the same problem.> Thank you very very much for your help. If I found that the better treatment is the copper in a hospital tank, I will do it... Honestly, I don't feel confident about my capacity to keep them all alive in a basic none established system, though. <With lots of water changes should be fine.  Could also use Bio-Spira to jump start the biofiltration.> Steve <Chris>
Heniochus acuminatus with Ich Part IV 7/3/06
Hi again, <Hi> I just wanted to say that I should have listen to you one week ago. I mean I should have treated it as fast as I could. Even if the Heniochus had finally eaten yesterday, I have found it today in my overflow box dead. <Sorry to hear.>  I just feel like crap. The worst thing, it was my girlfriend fish... It was her birthday present. <Yeah, I learned that lesson the hard way too, no fish for gifts.>  I don't think she will like the tank anymore... I feel right now like I would give up too... It is sad that I had to make that fish die just to learn a so simple lesson!! <Been there, done that.  Almost quit after losing my possum wrasse, loved that fish.> So, I know that I will sing the same old song!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TO EVERYONE, don't be damn stupid like me, DO QUARANTINE YOUR FISH!!!!!!!! <A convert, and ready to give others the advice, some good out of a bad situation.> So now that the only really sick fish is dead (the wrasse only had 2-3 spots and it is now gone), should I just wait 1 week or 2 before I start to treat them in a hospital tank? <Start immediately.> I mean that way I could let some sponge in my tank to have some biofiltration ready for the quarantine process. <See if you ca find some Bio-Spira to kick-start the biofiltration.  But do not buy it if it hasn't been kept refrigerated, some stores don't and without it the bacteria will die.> Should I start using the biofiltration right at the beginning or after the copper treatment so, the copper would not kill the biofiltration?  <From the beginning.>  Can I use filter pad that absorb ammonia with a copper treatment? <No, all will also remove the copper as far as I know, just have lots of new salt water ready for water changes.>  If not, would it be better to use hyposalinity, so I could use absorbent resin to help to maintain good quality of water ? <Most of the bacteria cannot survive the salinity change anyway, so copper is probably the better way to go.> Again Thank YOU VERY VERY MUCH for your patience Chris!!! <Anytime> <Chris>

Ich treatment for Dwarf Angels 8.11.05 Hello Folks, My main tank has come down with ich.  I first noticed it on my hippo  tang, and shortly there after the spots appearing on all the other fish.   (I have 1 hippo tang, 3 dwarf angels, 1 lawnmower blenny, and 2 clowns) <Have the dwarf angels been together long. Over one year... six months even? An unnatural mix and some source of stress indeed> From what I've read angels don't do well with copper, correct?    <True> So I should use a formalin product like Kordon's Rich-Ich +, correct?    <This could be helpful... in a bare-bottomed QT tank. Never dose formalin in the main display. Nor organic dyes for that matter when you have live rock.> Do you recommend the full dosage (1 tsp per 10 gallons), or should I go with a  half dosage?   <Always full strength in QT> If I go with a half dose I'm assuming this will prolong  the treatment time? Thanks!! Travis <In addition to conventional medications, I like to soak food in garlic extract and beta Glucan (get from GNC health stores). I believe these to be very helpful. Best of luck, Anthony>
Ich treatment for dwarf angels II 8.11.05
the dwarf angels have been together for about three months.  they were  added at the same time and get along fine.   <It means little... and is hardly a test of time. If yours are like most, they will scrap in time (sexual maturity) and be a constant source of stress for each other. The mix is unnatural and ill-advised IMO> the reason I asked about the dosage is because I read something on your  site about certain fish being sensitive to such medication .   _ http://www.wetwebmedia.com/formalinart.htm_ ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/formalinart.htm) <understood> It reads: "Some groups of freshwater fishes (small Characoids/tetras, Mormyrids, loaches...) and marines (Surgeonfishes, Rabbitfishes, dwarf  angelfishes...) are sensitive to formalin and formalin/malachite, and should not  receive more than half doses of these chemicals. Live plants are also made of proteins... and will die if exposed to formalin. Formalin kills microbes indiscriminately, including nitrifying bacteria. Hence you will need to monitor the accumulation of ammonia and nitrite, and take steps to prevent their  exceeding 1.0 ppm (likely by massive changes of pre-conditioned water)." Thanks. <Formalin by itself is no more stressful than most any other meds in general, but with organic dyes like malachite green, the angels can respond badly. Watch closely... but I'm still saying full dose and standard QT protocol (daily water changes form the bare bottom of the tank to reduce larval parasites, etc). Anthony> <<RMF would heed the manufacturer's warning and treat only half dose.>>

The Ich Warrior Is On The Offensive! Hi Scott, <Hello again!> Appreciate your quick response in my time of aquatic turmoil. Do you think Formalin 3 is a good treatment for the flame angel in the hospital tank? The bottle of Formalin says that the dose can be repeated every 24 hours is that o.k?  I'm going to go easier on the hospital tank meds this time around. <I'd follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter with this, or any medication> Like you said,  you must be relentless back to the ich parasites to beat this thing and you're not exaggerating one bit!! <Yep, but you CAN beat it!> I'll let you know how this thing goes. <Please do! Good luck!> Thanks again, Ed <Go get 'em, Ed! Regards, Scott F.>

Fighting Ich The Easy Way? I'm starting to feel indebted to you guys for all the help you have given me.  Here is my question for the day.  I have a flame angel in quarantine, about 3 inches long.  He was brought in from Hawaii two weeks ago from LFS. <Excellent fish, excellent procedure, and the best place to get 'em from!> Curious about surroundings, eating some prepared food, nibbling on everything in sight, seemed healthy.  He is now in my quarantine tank, been there for two days, started showing some signs of ich, 5 or 6 spots on him. Do I have to medicate, or can I just siphon 1 or 2 gallons a day from the bottom of the tank, hoping for him to battle this on his own.   <Actually, the procedure is 100% changes, siphoning from the bottom of the bare quarantine tank. By doing this, you're removing any encysted stages of the parasite that may be present. It's not that traumatic, actually, if you are using water from your display tank as the QT water. You're simply replacing the water in the QT with water of the exact same temperature and composition; the same water that the fish will be living in for the rest of his life. Really pretty safe! I'd try this before I'd resort to chemicals, particularly with Centropyge species. Lon-term use of copper is a definite no-no with these guys.> He is still eating.  I don't want to give him a fresh water dip (my usual procedure) because I gave him one when I first got him and he didn't like it, tried to jump, spitting water at surface, etc...  I think that the stress from the dip may have actually triggered the ich. <Possible. Centropyge don't take well to FW dips on occasion! I agree with your decision not to do a dip again.> By the way I don't think I did anything wrong with the first dip, ph adjusted, temp adjusted, aerated R/O water, about 8 min.s long, the same procedure I have used with success on my tangs). <Yep- you did fine. A great procedure; it's just that some fishes don't take well to it!> If you feel I can wait this out, at what point, or what signs would you wait for to determine if I have to take further action?  i.e.: just watch him if he is acting normally with just a few spots, medicate him if he is showing further signs of disease like scratching and more spots. <You're reading my mind!> If I should medicate him, what do you recommend? <I'd consider a product with Formalin in lieu of Copper Sulphate> Thanks for your help. <Glad to be of assistance. I think that you are on the right track here. Keep this guy eating a variety of foods, give him excellent water quality, use the water change technique and he may just pull through without any other intervention required! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Attacking Ich! I bought a coral beauty a week and a half ago.  It looked great in the store, and initially after getting it home.  I freshwater dipped it for 4 and a half minutes and put it in a 10 gal quarantine, and began the whole waiting thing. <Good to hear that!> I noticed about 3 days after getting it home that it had a dusting of tiny white spots. I guessed this was ich, and planned to get medicine the next day. When I got up the next day, the spots were gone. I figured maybe the fish was just stressed from the dip?  I did not medicate. It looked fine (no spots) for about a week, but yesterday I noticed that it once again had a dusting of white spots.  I gave him a 9 and a half minute freshwater dip (ph and temp adjusted), and totally drained the q tank.  I washed out the quarantine tank, tossed all filter media, and cleaned everything well with tap water.  I then refilled the q tank with water from my main tank.  The q tank has an 8 watt UV on it (I know you are not big fans of these, but I had it hanging around). <I like UV- If you have it, use it!> Should I do anything else to ensure no ich comes back?  More dips?  Medication? <You could continue the FW dips, and if they appear to be working, you don't need to medicate. I'm a big fan of copper sulphate as the medication of choice, but this stuff is not well-tolerated by Centropyge angelfishes. A formalin-based product is a better choice for this species, if you want to go the medication route. You could also employ 100% water changes/bottom siphoning in the quarantine tank, in the hope of removing all of the cysts/free swimming stages of the Cryptocaryon parasite from the tank...> I can't find medication that has formalin but not malachite green anywhere around here. How long should I wait after all signs of ich are gone before adding him to my main tank? <I'd wait at least 2 weeks, possibly 3 weeks> I have been doing 50% water changes on the q tank every other day, but the nitrite still is usually around 1 ppm.  I know this is not great, but I just don't have time to do water changes every day.   Will this be a problem? <It will not be a source of comfort, for sure! This is one of those rare cases where it may be beneficial to use one of the commercially-available "bacteria cultures" to give a boost to the biological processes that you need to foster...> Any advice you can give on ridding my coral beauty of ich is appreciated.  Thank you, Ken Roe <I hope that these ideas will give you some food for thought. Regards, Scott F.>

Fish in transit... with ich?     On 2/11/05 I bought the final fish for my 75 gallon tank - a Flame angel.  When I saw her in the tank in the LFS there were two of them.  The one in the tank just above the one she was in appeared to me to have ich.  In fact I said to the dealer, "it looks like this one has a little ich" and he said, "I don't see any ich".  She, on the other hand, looked good and I saw no sign of ich at all.      I brought her home and put her in my 29 gallon quarantine tank (that has two small pieces of live rock in it ( otherwise bare).  I had to go on an overnight trip to Baton Rouge on Thursday but placed a small amt of flake food in two cups (one for Thursday night and one for Friday morning) for someone else to feed while I was gone.  Came home this evening and it appears to me that she might now have ich on her caudal fin.  I don't see any on her pectoral fins but she moves pretty fast and it's hard to tell.  I'm not sure it's ich (I keep trying to convince myself that maybe it's food remnants that are stuck to her fin) but I'm thinking maybe it is.  Otherwise she looks great - good weight, great color, etc.       What should be my next step?  Should I keep her in quarantine and not treat her - on the theory that it will go away by itself? Should I try a freshwater dip (which scares me), or should I take the live rock out of the Q tank and start copper therapy?  If I take the live rock out of the Q tank, is it safe to put it back into my main system if it has been exposed to a fish with ich?     I'd very much appreciate your advice on this.       Thanks,     Toni <I would do the first... keep the fish in quarantine... and not treat it. Did you dip this fish on the way to being placed in quarantine? I definitely would do so on the way to your main display. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fish in transit... with ich?
Well, I didn't do the freshwater dip (because I was afraid) but I watched the fish for almost a week more and then on Thursday the 17th I was sure that the fish had something. There was something on both his caudal fin and his pectoral fins. On Friday the 18th I noticed that the fish was now swimming at the top of the water column?? I then did a water change, tested the water to make sure everything was ok - which is was - removed the live rock to a bucket of saltwater taken from my main tank and added a powerhead to that. Now the fish was in a bare tank. I removed the sponge carbon filter and threw it away and added a little less than three capfuls of ParaGuard to the 29 gallon quarantine tank. I woke up this morning and the fish was dead. <From?> After removing the fish from the water it appeared to me that a small portion of his caudal fin was gone. I thought maybe he had tail and fin rot. I'm really worried about how I'm doing things now. Is it possible for a fish that looked healthy in the LFS to come home to a QTank and in 3 weeks develop tail and fin rot and die? <Yes... but... to be clear/er... the "rot" is/was very likely just decomposition... happens quickly> The other flame fish that was in the tank above her in the LFS is still there. This is a tough hobby if you live in a small town. There are 2 fish stores in this land-locked town and I have concerns about how cavalier they are with their livestock. Neither store does any quarantining. <Even if they did, I would still do my own> One store has every tank in the store on the same water system so I think if there's something in one tank it's in all their tanks. The other store has very poor management and goes for long periods with no fish at all.  <Mmm, there's always "mail order"> Tonight I put a new carbon sponge filter in the QTank to remove what ParaGuard might be in there. What is your advice on whether or not I should put the live rock back into the Qtank?  I worry it might have organisms on it from the sick fish and contribute to the death of any other fish I eventually place in there. What do you think? Should I throw the live rock out? Would it ever be safe to put back into may main tank? <Yes... leave it somewhere... in the quarantine system... for a month and no problem> Also when will it be safe to put another fish in the QTank? <Another month plus> Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Toni <Toni, you would do well to have one or two good reference books that you could read "all the way through" and gain a good/thorough understanding of what is going on here? I sense a profound desire to understand, and can assure you that the "experiential" model/mode of learning as you've been doing is very unsatisfying... There are many disparate, spirited, opposed opinions/facts re aquatic animal health... hard to discern them w/o a complete background in set-up, maintenance, simple chemistry and physics... Bob Fenner> 

Help me Save my Coral Beauty Hi guys... <Ceri> Well I just bought a Coral Beauty Angel, he looked OK in the LFS but the next day after bringing him home he developed white patches on the fins and I am starting to see small white specs on him. <Man, this is the year for parasitic troubles!> Not many just a few. So, I read, read, and read some more on your site. This is what I have done. Good news, I put him directly in a QT tank. I have raised temperature to 80 and lower salinity for hyposalinity conditions. I have also ordered some Methylene Blue and CopperSafe. <Good moves> So, here are the questions. How many times do I perform the fresh water dip with Methylene Blue? Only once? <Once (on the way into QT) is best> Once a day? Leave him there for 3-5 minutes? <About right...> How do I know if this stresses the fish? <Observation... that the fish isn't laying over "too much", breathing "too hard"...> Also, won't putting him back into the affected water re-start the ich? <Bingo, yes... the reason the dip/bath is best performed en route...> Should I start the copper treatment as soon as he is returned to tank? <ASAP> If he looks better I understand I need to stop the copper treatment through water changes. <Actually, no... you need to keep a physiological dose of free/cupric ion present for the two week treatment period... you may well not see the "ich itself"...> I then want to bring water to the same conditions as my main tank. I am worried that lowering the temperature will bring Ich back, is that possible? <Not if it is not present...> Please advise, I want to save this guy. So far, he still looks good, but not eating as well today. Poor thing has no algae to eat in the QT, hope this is OK. I have never done a fresh water dip before, I am probably more stressed than the fish! Thanks...Ceri. <Likely... these baths are not of themselves that much strain on the fish... the netting is far worse... Bob Fenner><<Wish I would have emphasized that once the Cryptocaryon was off the hosts, it would not "magically" reappear like freshwater (Ichthyophthiriasis) ich. RMF>>
Re: Help me Save my Coral Beauty
Thanks Bob, really appreciate your help. Since catching this guy will be stressful...and I would have to put him back into the same QT, should I skip the dip and go for the copper only? <Yes, I would. Thanks for the clarification> (yes lessoned learned, will dip all new first FIRST) Copper hasn't arrived yet, I will start as soon as it does. Do I keep the water at hyposalinity during the copper, or can I bring it back to normal? Thanks...Ceri <Can leave low if the fishes being treated are not "too" stressed already... a balance my friend. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Help me Save my Coral Beauty, ich
Great, thanks Bob. I will slowly bring water conditions back up to normal. I don't want to fight monitoring copper and hyposalinity tank at the same time. My QT has live rock and substrate it in (thanks to LFS who suckered me into it). I will remove before starting copper treatment as I understand it makes an accurate reading difficult <Actually will quickly absorb the copper> (from the FAQs on your site !!) and will ease in removal of these nasty bugs !! Thanks for the support. Ceri. <You're welcome my friend. Steady on. Bob Fenner>
Coral Beauty/Copper - Follow-up
Hi guys...well I am sad to say my Coral Beauty has taken a turn for the worse. I started copper and now he looks TERRIBLE. Appears as if there are no white specs on him, but there is a large white fuzzy patch, that is growing, right next to his, well, butt. Nitrite and Ammonia levels have spiked through the roof. I did a 20% water change Fri, 50% water change yesterday, and 50% water change today and levels are still high. I have decided to stop the copper and just focus on getting the water to normal. I added PolyFilter...  <Good>  ... and added a new filter cartridge in the Emperor 280. Question is, what happened to this poor fish? Does copper kill the bacterial function of the filter? <Yes, especially at the .25 level I see below>  I am desperate and just don't know what is wrong with him, or how to help. Please advise. The directions on the bottle are not clear, and the copper test kit always read over .25 of copper in the tank, even after water changes.  <Copper is an effective method of killing diseases if used properly and with care. For angels, the copper level shouldn't exceed .15, .25 is dangerous. Are you using an ionic copper or chelated, or which brand/type are you using?> Was the treatment done in quarantine in a rock/substrate free tank?  Also, since I was reading your site last night, I have a question for my main 65 gal tank. I have 75 lbs live rock, Fluval 404 with carbon and bio-material, Emperor 400 bio-wheel, and a Prism skimmer. Should remove the bio-filter material from the Fluval 404? Is this adding nitrates? <I don't believe you have enough live rock to remove the bio material. Yes the rings can increase nitrate slightly.>  Also the Fluval is adding tons of tiny bubbles in the tank, I was thinking of replacing it with a Eheim Wet/Dry canister filter. Is this a good choice?  <There are better ways for less $. Even though the Prizm is rated for a tank your size, it is not that efficient to handle it. I use one myself on my 29 mini reef. Just great for that.>  If it is, I should not use the bio- material for that as well since I have live rock - right? < If it were me, I would seriously think about adding a hang-on refugium with a live sand base and add some Caulerpa. This will help control the nitrates and nuisance algae. You will need to buy a small PC fixture to place over the refugium. CPR is coming out with their hang-on that includes a built-in skimmer. This would add to the skimming efficiency of your system.> Question 3 - sorry - full of uncertainty today. I will do a freshwater dip with Meth. Blue for each new fish from now on BUT - the directions say to leave the fish only in the dip 10 seconds. I have read that the fish should be there 3 to 5 MINUTES. Which one is correct? And to be safe, it is good to dip when moving from the QT to the main tank just as an extra precaution? What is the correct concentration of blue to use?  <I'd follow info on the bottle.  Here is a link on disease prevention that has info on FW dipping. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm. James (Salty Dog)> 

Coral Beauty/Copper Follow-up, Doesn't Look Good.. Thanks for quick reply. Sorry to say, Coral Beauty basically dead. On it's side breathing very hard, I added water, and some of the bio-material from my main tank to QT tank, but afraid it is too late.  Yes the QT is rock and substrate free (well there is a teeny bit on the bottom since I removed existing substrate before treatment.) I used 7ml of CopperSafe for 10 gal tank, per directions. I feel terrible, I just killed this innocent fish. I really want to be sure this does not happen again. Directions said to leave in the copper filter, was that a good idea?  <Ceri, usually when a fish gets that bad, copper will just finish it off. It' very important to treat right at the onset of the disease. If the directions say to leave the carbon in place, then that's what I'd do. Sorry. James (Salty Dog)> 

Sneak attack? Ich on fishes  I acquired a Blue Line angel about two months ago and things had been going well until three or four days ago when he started to breath rapidly, the only external signs of anything afoul were ich like spots on his eyes. I promptly gave him a fresh water dip w/formalin  totaling 5-8min. <a good move IMO> and upon removal his respiration rate easily doubled. <Immediately after, yes... but minutes/hours later it should be stable or better if dip was done properly (pH adjusted, water aerated before being used... scary close match with tank temp, etc)> At that point I thought it best to just keep an eye on him which made for a long evening, some 4-5hrs later his breathing slowed down but not to a normal rate. <Ahhh... yes, good. As it should be> The following day I gave him another dip exchanging the formalin with Methylene blue and putting him in a Q-tank with copper and antibiotics. <Yikes... I was with you on the repeat dip (needed) and the Methylene blue (increases O2)... but you lost me on the copper. Angels are very (!) copper sensitive.> He had been eating up until two hours before I put him to sleep, he finally started to list over on the bottom. I had to have my wife put him down for me and explain to my little one why we perform euthanasia. It tore my heart out to see him slowly suffocate, today, we'll be burying him per my daughters wishes. My original point of this correspondence, it's been my experience that ich doesn't kill that quickly, does it? <You are very correct. Most folks think takes a few days... but even that is not true. It establishes a week or more in advance (usually 2+weeks) and is expressed very subtly at first as the closing of one operculum or occasional scratches or glances off rock long before any "spots" appear> I forgot to mention that he had a 1/4" bump on his side that didn't break the skin nor raise the scales, its cycle was about five days and went away on its own with no intervention. Do you have any thoughts? <The bump on the side also was not fatal and quite likely secondary. I can't be sure with certainty what the cause of death was... but prolonged siege by the parasites unnoticed contributed... the Os o the display may be depressed and amplified it... the copper treatment may have been the killing blow on an already stressed fish. Formalin is very "safe" on a wide range of fishes... Methylene blue is good for most (except scale less fishes) ... and copper has severe limitations IMO (efficacy and range of tolerant species). Formalin and FW dips always get my vote. Sorry for your loss my friend. Best regards, Anthony>

Striking Back At Ich! My marine tank was set up about 3 months ago. It is my first crack at it. I have a 55 gallon with a wet/dry trickle filter and a protein skimmer. The tank contains only a few small damsels, a yellow tang, and an angel, with 4 small hermit crabs. About a week ago, most of the fish started showing white spots. I'm not sure if it's ich, but I suspect it is. A local pet shop advised to treat with formalin, which I started doing. I have treated every other day for 6 days for a total of 3 doses so far. Initially, the fish seemed to be doing better, but now the angel seems to be in bad shape. He is sluggish, listing to one side. And spots are now showing again on the blue devils. <Could be a response to the medication...Centropyge Angels don't always do well with medications, copper, Formalin, etc. He may simply need a "break" from he medication> Unfortunately, I do not have the capacity to set up a QT, so I'm treating the main tank. Is there anything else I can do? Should I try fresh water dips, and if so, how often? <If you're going this route, try freshwater dips, try them once a day for about 4-5 days...> Should I lower the salinity and raise the temperature? Right now the salinity is at 1.022 ppm, and water temp. is at 77 degrees. Should I do water changes , and if so, how often? <Frankly, I'd set up a Rubbermaid container as a hospital tank, remove all of the fishes into this container, and let the system run "fallow", without fishes, for about a month. Meanwhile you could expose the fishes to lowered specific gravity or other treatments...You'll have a greater degree of success if you treat outside of the display, and the causative ich parasite population will crash for lack of hosts. I don't believe in continuously bombarding fishes with medication (particularly if you have a fish that's not taking the medication well, like your Flame Angel), so you may want to give the fishes a bit of a "break" from the medications in the "hospital" facility, and then resuming treatments as needed...> Please help. My kids are frantic that they will lose their pets.......Thanks. <Hang in there...Be sure to use effective medications/techniques, and utilize the "fallow tank" technique, and you can pull all of these fishes through. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

More Issues With Ich >Hi! >>Hello! >Long time reader, infrequent question asker.  Really enjoy the information provided on the page, I consider it one of my #1 resources.   I have a 60 gallon tank, I purchased a flame angel and introduced the specimen into the tank (I don't have a Quarantine tank as such, I inherited the larger tank). >>You know what we're going to say, right?  And, as a longtime reader, you also know that quarantine doesn't need to be done in a proper aquarium.  But now it's moot, let's continue. >The fish looked grand in the store, however, 3 days after introduction the fish developed Ich.  I have never had ich in my tank before, or any disease for that matter but it had to happen sometime, ya know, with my reckless abandon and all... *ahem* >>AHEM!   >Anyways, I have the tank running under a hyposalinity treatment, I have also been feeding garlic, doing bi-daily water changes (10 - 15%).  The fish no longer shows signs of ich, but I imagine that is just because the trophonts have fallen off.  I have been doing a gravel siphoning with every other water change and have been moving ornaments around here and there to vacuum under them.  None of the other fish (yellow tang, maroon clown, Heniochus Bannerfish) are showing signs of the disease and they all seem to be taking the hyposalinity treatment well. >>Good. >Here's the question portions... Is there anything else I should be doing (besides quarantine) to my tank to ensure the disease doesn't spread anymore?  I don't relish the idea of treating the tank with copper as Centropyge loricula is known to be somewhat copper sensitive, and formalin treatments are fairly hard to find in most of the shops in my city. >>Well, if you're automatically factoring those treatments out, then the only thing I can tell you is the set up a q/t, freshwater dip all fish before you put them in it, and let that display lie fallow for 6-8 weeks.  The garlic has only been proven to have some antibacterial effects, and there is anecdotal evidence that it seems to stimulate feeding response. >Also, my tank is equipped with an underground filter powered by two Powerhead 802's, the post powerful ones of the AquaClear label, it sucks down food instantly which prompts me to turn the pumps off during feeding, is it possible that the suction from the gravel bed will keep the encysted ich babies on the bottom of the tank and break their life cycle by not making them able to attach to a host? Far fetched maybe, but is it possible? >>Yes, VERY far fetched, not at all likely that they'd be entirely "trapped" within the confines of the U.G.. >I will keep it at the current gravity (1.012) for about a month and see what happens, is it a safe attitude to have that assuming after 5 weeks of treatments and there are no reoccurrences or ill effects of the fish due to hyposalinity that I can consider the problem finished?  Should I be considering a more aggressive treatment for the problem?  I'd appreciate any advice you might have. -Bj Rampton >>Hyposalinity would be better at 1.010, sometimes even as low as 1.007.  Always consider more aggressive treatment, since you can't get the formalin in town, order some (cuz we can tell you're online ;) ) and have it on hand.  Remember, you have to be careful with this stuff as well as with copper.  (My own experience with flames doesn't show them to be exceedingly sensitive to copper treatments, but formalin will certainly work as well if it comes to that).  The big thing is that to eliminate the possibility of reinfection you'll need to let that display lie fallow.  Search for Terry Bartelme's articles on ich, too, he's written much about this parasite.  I would go with 6-8 weeks with no ich observed before I felt it was no longer an issue.  Marina

That Pesky Ich Again Hi guys <Scott F. here for you> I was away for a few days (my daughter fed the fish) and when I got back a Scribble Angel, Heniochus, and a hippo were affected with Ich. I can't figure out why I had the outbreak (water quality is great, I use a chiller so temp variation is not a factor and I quarantine new additions for what might be too short a period of 2 weeks). <Yep- a possibility- always use at least a 3 week-or longer quarantine period!> I have treated the fish only main tank (since the QT is only 10 gallons) with a .15 concentration of copper for 18 days already. The Scribble can't seem to shake the Ich.  <Yikes! In the future, please treat all sick fish in a quarantine tank! Copper is extremely tough to get rid of in your main system. Plus, as you are finding, copper can bind with substrate and rocks, diminishing it's concentration/effectiveness! Since you have larger specimens, please do find a larger tank for treatment, a 20 gal or so would work> I have not as yet tried Fresh Water Dips figuring that the copper would take care of the situation  <not at 15, should be .25, and that may be another factor in its ineffectiveness.>  Is it common for Ich to survive in copper treated water for this long and should I continue treatment or will it jeopardize the health of the other fish. I intend to isolate only the Scribble tonight and continue copper treatment.  <good idea, but try freshwater dips first. Give him a break from copper for a few days, then start a proper therapeutic dose in the QT tank. Test to make sure copper level is proper, per manufacturer's instructions> Should I continue the copper in the display tank as well and if so for how long. <Once again, I'd cease using copper in the main tank. Remove all affected fish into the quarantine tank for treatment. Employ PolyFilter medium in the main system to help remove copper. The main system should sit fallow (without fish) for a month or more to let the parasite population diminish. Continue water changes/maintenance during this period.> Thanks as always. I anxiously await your response, Joe <Make the above changes to your treatment techniques, and things should work out fine! Good luck!>

Butterflies Aren't Free Mornin fellas... <Hey there- Scott F. here!> Am getting a tad frustrated with my saltwater tank. 90gallon, live sand, huge canister filter, etc.. Creatures:  2 small clowns, shrimp goby, mandarin goby, small little boxfish, pistol shrimp,  coral banded shrimp, cleaner shrimp - yep, he still hasn't become a cocktail for my CBS, 2 emerald crabs, 45 hermit crabs, 25 snails, had 3 butterfly Aurigas. Everyone is doing just peachy except for my Auriga Butterflies.  I have read on your site that they are pretty hardy fish that are easy to keep. <They certainly has the reputation of being one of the hardiest butterflies for aquariums> Anyhow, I introduced 3 butterflies together 3 weeks ago.  I introduced them appropriately to my tank but did not quarantine them ~ yaya, I know, I just bought a doctor/quarantine tank and will quarantine all new creatures from now on. <Good! You spared yourself from the lecture...  :) > One of them died overnight while the other two were fine.  I then replaced the butterfly with another Auriga.  All 3 were doing well for a week or so, when one day I noticed what appeared to be a criss-cross laceration on the side of one of the butterflies.  He survived a couple of days and then died.  The other two were doing fine... 4 days  after the death of the aforementioned, I noticed another butterfly sitting upright, but at an angle at the bottom of the tank.  He had a small laceration in the bottom of the middle of his side.  Called Big Al's to ask what was up with the Butterflies they were giving me.  Before I even mentioned their behaviors to the guy at Big Al's, he told me that the Butterflies were probably scraping themselves against my liverock because of an itch and that that was the likely cause of their lacerations. <A possibility, for sure...but what's the cause of the "itch"...?> He didn't think anything in my tank would go after the largest of my fishes (the Auriga's).  Ya, my butterflies and only my butterflies over the past two/three weeks had been swimming slowly up to a rock and then quickly slamming their bodies against the rock.  Their is perhaps tiny little bubbled skin marks behind the gills... not sure if it is a bacteria or if it is just the fishes appearance. <Nope- not part of their appearance...under normal circumstances> So, I bought a 20gallon hospital/quarantine tank and used my main tank's water.  Water seems to be ok and now my last two butterflies are in the tank.  I bought "REEF SAFE KICK-ICH" to treat it. <IMO, this stuff is better used as salad dressing than a fish "medication"...and please don't use it in your main tank! It's really a "pepper sauce", intended to make the fish slough off body slime in the hope that the parasites go with it...Also- are you sure that ich is what you are dealing with? Please verify the illness (assuming it is an illness, not just an injury) before using any medication. Sometimes, administering the wrong medication can be worse than not medicating a fish at all.> This morning, my butterfly with the small laceration on the bottom middle of his side is laying on my hospital tank bottom.  It looks like he has a newly developed sore on his dorsal fin (it's a little reddish).  He can't  swim upright but seems to have a lot of energy.  I left him there while I go to work.  I expect him to be dead when I return from work leaving me one butterfly with no lacerations (but the guy still seems to rub against rocks as I described above). So... questions: a) do you think it is the 'ICK' causing them to rub against the rocks...thus causing the lacerations?? <A possibility- ich definitely can cause fish to scratch> b) is this REEF SAFE KICK-ICH a good treatment??? <Umm...I don't really have anything nice to say about this stuff...> c) are butterflies really easy to keep?? <IMO, not really! Butterflies need very stable water chemistry, lots of space (Aurigas can reach almost 10 inches!), high oxygen content, brisk circulation, and an established aquarium. They are usually the first fish to decline if your water quality falls off. Aurigas and Long Nosed butterflies are considered the easiest to keep of a rather touchy group> d) any idea why I have had such bad luck with JUST my butterflies??  All other creatures are happy campers. <As above...The species we're discussing are not "difficult", but I would not classify them as "easy", either!> Is their anything I haven't done that I should be doing???  May I have overlooked something?? Please help...Dave <Well, Dave-Quarantine, of course, is the best thing that you can do. Apart from that, selecting good, healthy specimens is very important...These fishes don't always ship well, and can "break down", as Bob likes to say, quite easily...These fishes need lots of space, too-a very important and often overlooked factor in the husbandry of these (and many other) fishes, IMO. Don't be discouraged by this experience. Do review all water parameters, recheck your husbandry procedures (i.e.; water changes, feeding, skimming, etc.), study your future purchases very carefully, and choose healthy specimens that are eating at the store. Go for it. but do read all you can and be prepared for a better run at it this time! You can do it! Good luck!  Scott F.>

Ich I have another question for you.  <<Shoot...>>  This one regarding ich. If I were to quarantine all my fish, and treat medications, which would be the safest considering I have a Coral Beauty and Flame Angel?  <<Copper, but you could also start with just a pH adjusted freshwater dip.>>  Also in allowing the tank to go "fallow" for a month, do you recommend using the same bare bottom tank for treatment,  <<Yes.>>  do I need to provide some sort of hiding places for them?  <<I would, you can use pieces of PVC pipe and/or large fittings for them to hide in. The PVC will not absorb or react with any of the things you might treat with. Cheers, J -- >>

Ick (Aaargh!!!!) Hello- <Cheers, Anthony Calfo in your service> I've got some kind of parasitic infestation in my 125 Gal. fish and live rock tank (no corals). I see white salt spots on bodies and fins and some fish are scratching (Majestic Angel, Cuban Hog, Harlequin Tusk).  <large like grains of salt would indicate common Ich (crypt.) whereas fine like talc would suggest marine velvet (Oodinium)> There is no respiratory distress or loss of appetite. The only fish that don't have spots are three that have been in this tank for 4 yrs- a Foxface, a red flame hawk, and a long nose hawk-  <yes... common for fish that have suffered this parasite before...some immunity> plus a recently added algae blenny. <not yet at least> First, I removed the live rock to a trash can with aerator, dropped SG to 1.017, raised temp to 82 degrees.  <to be done gradually over days for fear of mitigating the condition> Then, I lowered the SG in the 125 gal to 1.014 from 1.022 all at once,  <not recommended although I have done it before and will do it again <G>> and I am gradually -over several days time -raising the temp from 76 deg to 82. <OK> I dropped SG on Monday. It's now Friday. All of the fish seem to be tolerating low SG. All are eating and moving around the tank except for a yellow banded maroon clown. The clown has been hanging out in a cave under a rock but did come out to feed last night. <no worries... let her pout, they are hardy> The low SG appears to be working (spots are disappearing). I'm most concerned about the angels- the flame has cloudy eyes that are a bit popped, <do add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per 5 gallons (split dose over a day or do in installments and dissolve in seawater first)... this is aimed to relieve the exophthalmia (Popeye)> and head shaking behavior, and the Majestic looks great but also has head shaking. Also last week the majestic excreted a long stringy mess. Didn't look good. <you have indicated three different things... a possible bacterial infection (Popeye), spots and head shaking (Ich) and now stringy white feces (internal parasites perhaps> Stephen Spotte lists head shaking as one of the clinical signs of Amyloodinium disease.  <it is a VERY general symptom of gill irritation which could be from Ich, Oodinium, gill flukes, nitrogen poisoning and so many other things> Spotte says that Amyloodinium is persistent and fishes can never recover totally, and there will be another out break at a later time.  <only true in the sense that we are al carrying potentially pathogenic organisms at all times that can be expressed with stress. Your chances of getting or keeping a sterile fish or even Oodinium free are as unrealistic as your own digestive tract being sterile or so-called "disease free". Have no fears. Good husbandry will carry fish many years! (Nancy aquarium in France, case in point: numerous fishes over twenty and even 30 years old!!! (incl Perc clowns) with basic sponge filtration. If you keep and use a quarantine tank ( I suspect you didn't for these new fish which is why you have an outbreak in part) you'll find that you can easily temper the impact of such pathogens. Not cure forever... but easily temper. It is standard and necessary protocol for responsible aquarium keeping> His advice is to destroy everything, sterilize the tank and start over. I'm not going to do that.  <keep in mind that you are citing a reference that is likely over 15 years old (copyright). Perhaps more. Spotte is a great scientist... but times and knowledge have evolved!> I've read that Cryptocaryon disease is not a as deadly.  <agreed> Does Cryptocaryon also infect the gills and cause head shaking? <yes> Spotte lists respiratory distress as a clinical sign of Crypto but not head shaking. <again... cannot be taken so literally... simply gill distress> I have never used copper even though I have a bottle of Cupramine- I keep reading the directions and reading Spotte, Moe, Tullock, and Fenner (of course). If I use the copper I will use it in the exhibit aquarium, pull it out with PolyFilters after treatment, discard the dead coral rock decor, and return the live rock to the main tank.  < I would advise you to simply use a proper QT tank and let the tank simply run fallow for the QT duration (4 weeks)> I will not use a separate treatment tank. (The exhibit aquarium is in my restaurant and I want to keep the fish in it.)  <then it will be done at the increased risk of their mortality. I do not fault you for it... they are your charges/responsibility. But know that you are taking the long way around the barn! Medicating a tank with calcareous substrate that will absorb copper like a sponge means that you will be dosing and testing for copper levels at least twice a day each for about 21 days. Not at all practical> OR I may pull the angels out of the exhibit tank, place them in quarantine, and possibly treat only the angels with copper. <yes, my friend... this would be better> But I would prefer to continue with the low SG and after 6 days raise the SG to .017 and hold it there for another week, and then raise it to .021, hold the live rock in the trashcan for 6 weeks and then put it back in the exhibit tank. <all good ideas... I concur> Am I shooting myself in the foot by not using the copper?  <for Crypt I will agree with copper use. Not much else for copper> The fellow I buy my fish from says that if I wait too long to use the copper, then the disease will establish itself in the aquarium and I will always have problems.  <not true> What do you think about that head shaking? You're probably doing some head shaking yourself right about now. <heehee... I though the web cam was turned off <G>. You are a good sport!> Thanks for your help and thanks for putting together a great website. Sally <I wish you the very best of luck! Kindly, Anthony Calfo>

Flame Angel - Quarantine Tank and Ich Hello Crew, I am at a loss of what to do, so here I am to ask a question. First though tank parameters: Main tank - 55 gal - 60 lbs live rock - 20 gallon refuge - T1000 skimmer - 1 cleaner shrimp - been setup for 1 year - 0 NH4, 0 NO2 - 0 NO3, 8.2 PH, 300 Ca, 80 temp, 1.020 salinity (I know calcium is low. But except for the live rock and a few crabs and snails, no animals in my tank require much calcium. I am not dosing calcium or alkalinity at this time.) <Ok, sounds fine.> Quar tank - 20 gal - bare bottom - sponge filter rated for 60gal tank - power filter rated for 40 gal tank - setup for 6 weeks - NH4, NO2 et al. explained below - Temp 80F, 1.020 salinity, 8.2 PH Several months ago my DIY refugium came unglued releasing a cloud of fine sand throughout my tank. All previously healthy fish survived this silt storm and the rebuild of the refugium (this time with proper acrylic solvent), but broke out with ich. A hospital tank was used along with fresh water dips, but only 2 green chromis survived which were returned to the LFS. The main tank sat empty except for the cleaner shrimp for 4 weeks. I then set up the hospital tank as a quarantine tank and cautiously added a flame angel. <Bad idea to use a Flame Angel to cycle this new tank.> NH4 and NO2 quickly rose in the quarantine tank despite light feedings and daily 25% water changes from the main tank. NH4 rose to 0.1 before dropping to 0.25, and NO2 never got below 0.1. The angel died with just 2 days left in its 4 week quarantine. I waited two weeks until the quarantine tank's NH4, and NO2 dropped to 0 then purchased a second flame angel. Now 2 days later NH4 is 0.05 and NO2 is up to 0.1 again. The flame angel is sulking in a corner and not eating. And to add further insult has broken out with ich. <Everything you have related so far is to be expected, including the death of the fish.> I have tried feeding Mysis shrimp and flake food to no avail. I perform water changes 20 minutes after feeding to remove the uneaten food and change 25% of the water. Any suggestion on what should be done? <Yes, quit using flame angels to cycle this tank.> Should I use copper and further destroy the weak biological filtration? <No, continue the daily water changes and hope for the best.> Should I put the fish in the main tank contaminating it with ich, but hopefully providing better water conditions? <Might help, but you will need to leave this fish in their all by itself for at least one month, possibly two.> There are no other fish to get contaminated in the main tank. If the flame does perish in the main tank I could start the 4 week waiting period before trying to add fish again. <Correct> Any other suggestions? I fear this fish will perish soon if action is not taken. <Me too.> Thanks, Michael Torzewski <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>
Flame Angel - Quarantine Tank and Ich II
Steven, Just a note. I was not attempting to cycle the tank with a flame angel. The main tank has been cycled for 1 year. The filters on the quarantine tank have been running on the main tank for 6 months, and was set up 6 weeks ago. NH4 and NO2 after rising fell back to 0 before the addition of a fish. All water in the quarantine tank came from the main tank. This is the process outlined by Bob Fenner for setting up a quarantine tank. <And I agree with the process. I think the problem was with your application of the process. I am not sure about what happened when, but it appears you fallowed the tank for 4 weeks and then used those filters to setup the QT tank. That is probably where your problem came in. Most of the bacteria would have died off due to an unavailability of food, i.e. ammonia from fish.> For some reason the bacteria content on these filters even though they and been in an active tank for some time was very low and not able to handle the additional fish without falling out of balance. So besides "not adding a flame angel to cycle a tank" which was never my attempt at all. Do you have any advice. Do I have a better chance of saving this fish by continuing water changes and using copper in the quarantine tank, or placing the fish into main tank contaminating it with ich but providing better water conditions for the fish. <Daily water changes can effect a cure for Cryptocaryon. If you are sure that is what your fish have and the only thing, just do the daily water changes. I believe the copper would be more harm than good at this point, though I do not have a lot of faith that this fish will make it.> Thanks, Michael Torzewski <Good luck. -Steven Pro>

White spot or ick on my Copperbanded butterfly Hello, <<And hello to you. JasonC here...>> I was needing to get information on treating what seems to be marine ick on my Copperbanded butterfly. It is on one side fin and the tail.  <<Are these fins well salted or just a few spots? If not more than I few spots I probably wouldn't be concerned, I would just keep up the observation.>>  No other fish is infected. I have coral and invertebrate in my tank.  <<Do you have a cleaner shrimp or neon goby?>>  Is there something that I can use that won't hurt my coral and inverts? What do you suggest! Daniel <<Well, in all but the most extreme cases, I try to leave the medications in the bottle and instead either let nature take its course or add more nature, meaning biological cleaners. Problem parasites like ich and the like are present in tank water almost 100% of the time, and usually a healthy fish can deal with a parasite or two... it's when parasite numbers grow to epidemic proportions that things get weird. Cleaner shrimp and neon gobies can help keep these parasites in check. Here's some reading for you: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/shrimp/cleaner.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/neongobies.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm Cheers, J -- >>
Re: white spot or ick on my Copperbanded butterfly
Hello Jason,  <<And hello to you, Sir.>> The Butterfly has only about 2-3 spots on fin and 2-3 spots on tail. I have 2 cleaner shrimp, but no goby. Thanks, Daniel <<Sounds good to me, I wouldn't worry much about those spots. Do keep the fish under observation, look for scratching behaviors, to make sure things aren't growing out of proportion. No worries yet. Cheers, J -- >>

Quarantine Tank Bob, Hope all is well. I have a 90 gallon system with probably about 75 gallon sump. I filter this system mainly with algae scrubbing and protein skimming. Not to mention about 150 lbs of live rock. My fish (5" Golden Butterfly, 2" Tinker Butterfly and 4" Juvenile Emperor Angel) have ich. They have been in tank for probably 10 months and have always eaten very aggressively. They have from time to time had a dusting of ich but always fought off with no problem. I always watched how they ate closely and never saw a problem. The system was running so well with minimal effort that it lead to daily feeding and off to work or kids ball games. The Golden stopped eating yesterday so I immediately set up my quarantine tank and put him in today. My intentions are to put all three in and go fallow, (and give system a good cleaning with water changes). <Sounds like a good plan.> The Golden was my immediate concern because he was only fish to stop eating. He was very easy to catch that trusting soul. I have a twenty gallon quarantine tank and dividers. My question is, do you think I need another Q tank or will twenty be OK if I watch Ammonia real close and keep fish separate? <Seems kind of cramped to me, about a 8" x 12" x 16" area for each. You maybe able to get away with it. I would feel better if you had a 30, though.> I do have Red Sea Skimmer on Q tank, heater and plan on doing partials every couple of days. <Sounds good, but no biological?> Also, should I set up a Penguin filter jammed with some bio balls for some biological filtration? <Yes> I usually don't worry about biological filtration because of copper (I use Cupramine). <There are other options besides copper; daily water changes, freshwater dips, etc.> But I do plan on extended Q tank stay 6-8 weeks and will hopefully only use copper for two weeks. I have sought your advice in past and it has always paid off. Overall at this point the fish are very healthy. Any other advice surely appreciated. Thank you in advance, David Stanley <Overall, your plan sounds ok. -Steven Pro>

ICH PROBLEM and water temperature Dear Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I've got a big problem here as I have lost some of my beautiful large angels. The temperature of my 200G FOWLR tank is about 79F to 82F  <does it fluctuate this much or more daily? If so it is contributing to the Ich problem... temperature drops are proven to flare Ich.> and I've noticed that every early morning, most of the angels have numerous white spots on their bodies < a sign of Cryptocaryon (Ich)... not Oodinium (Velvet Ich)> and they would perish after 3 to 5 days. I managed to catch some of the angels and dipped them in freshwater for a few minutes but it seems to send them to the nether worlds a bit faster. My Sohal tang seemed unaffected. Massive water change was done a few days back but the problems recurred. <were these fish quarantined for 2-4 weeks before entering the display. You really should if not. Saves money and lives> Could the cold morning temperature be the problem?  <yes... any temp drop (by the book) of more than 2F can cause Ich to flare> My LFS has been trying to convince me on acquiring a UV system.  <buy a cheap hospital tank instead and invest in a second/better heater for the main display> What are your recommendations as it pains me to have my fishes die after keeping them for almost 3 years. Thanks in advance. <much agreed my friend. No worries, easy to correct problems here. Anthony Calfo>

Re: Ich Treatment I just purchased a 15 gallon tank to use as a Q-tank, not setup yet. I need to place my two cleaner shrimps in this tank, during the ich treatment. The spg level will be brought down to 1.017 or even as low as 1.010 and temp to 80 to 82 in the main tank. I have 1-purple tang, 1-naso tang, 1-emperor angel and 1-raccoon butterfly. The raccoon is of my concern, will he handle a spg level down to 1.010?  <Should... for at least the term of the treatment (a couple of weeks)> These fish are all in good condition, if it were not for this ich problem. Anyway, I thought maybe I could get by not using my tank water. I will transfer some live rock and water from the ich-tank, ASAP.  <New water can be used for changes there... but do pre-make and store it... Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm> One final question, will I need to dip the shrimp before I return them back to the display tank, after coming out of the Q-tank with ich water?  <No dipping necessary or desirable.> Sorry to confuse you as I am not a writer. <No confusion, "the medium is the message"... you are being perfectly clear. Bob Fenner>

Ongoing Ich My current reef tank is doing well except for the introduction of fish. Almost every new fish I put in the system either succumb to ich or suddenly disappear. The big ones such as tangs, angels, and butterflies got ich whereas the small damsels and chromis vanish within 24 hours even though they appear healthy the day before. All parameters check out perfectly and the inverts (corals, anemones, and shrimp) are prospering. I had a hippo tang that contracted ich 4 months ago. Could this still be in the water and if so, how do I get rid of it? <<Wow... well, there is/are some mischief maker(s) in your system... likely a Mantis Shrimp (order Stomatopoda), that you want to get rid of... by baiting it out near night time/lights out with some meaty chunk of food near the front corner... ready with a flashlight and net... or better, by conditioning the rogue fish eater with the same sort of meaty food (once again right after turning off the lights), then placing the same bait in a "live mouse trap" (aka Mantis Shrimp trap...)... get rid of this critter before buying any more small fishes/food for it. The entrenched ich problem... yes, it is IN YOUR SYSTEM... a few ways to approach this... If it were me, I'd take all the fishes out, treat them in a separate system... and freshwater dip (pH adjusted) on the way there and on the way back (in a month or two...)... The main tank, I'd dump out, fill with straight freshwater... for a day or two, refill then with lower the specific gravity (1.010) for a week, then raise it back to normal... raise the temperature to 84F. in an attempt to speed up, get rid of the ich parasites in various life stages in your system (Lower it back down before returning fish livestock)... and before returning your fish livestock... place some biological Cleaners to help ward off any residuals... give comfort to your fish livestock. Yes, this process is going to whip your live rock organisms... not totally though, and Yes, get rid of that Mantis Shrimp (or giant worm, Pistol Shrimps...) in addition to the work on ridding the ich...And, of course, henceforth, dip, quarantine all incoming fish livestock... to exclude these external parasite problems getting into your system in the first place. Bob Fenner, who encourages you to read to your satisfaction, the pieces on "dips/baths", "quarantine", "acclimation techniques", "Cryptocaryoniasis/ich", "shrimp", "treatment systems"... posted on the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com >

Help crypto that will not go! I have a 120 gallon fish only marine tank with a wet dry system, protein skimmer, and U.V sterilizer. I have wrasses, angels, and tangs. Recently, I have had a Cryptocaryon outbreak after adding new fish, I have never had a problem before treating with copper. This time it has been a very stubborn case. My copper level has been at .25 for over 2 weeks, I have also lowered the salinity to 1.016 four days ago to try to help. The powder blue tang and the Personifer angel seems to be the most susceptible, the other fish just have a few spots every few days. The spots will go away then return a couple of days later (all of this during the treatment). What do you recommend to clear this thing up? I have been using reagent grade marine copper, are there other products or is this copper faulty? Please help, I am frustrated! Thanks, Durell Tharpe  <<You mention having a UV... you're not running this at the same time as the copper I hope? At this point, with the Cryptocaryon being entrenched in your system... I would continue to treat the fishes there... but with a more stable format (like Cupramine) of copper... with daily testing of free copper levels... You're sure you've had 0.25ppm all this time? Very strange... and the copper you're using is CuSO4 . 5H2O? (copper sulfate pentahydrate... probably)... did you citrate it? (acidify the solution with citric acid) or use other adjuncts? I don't think you've had a physiological dose in your system the last two weeks...Bob Fenner>>
Re: Help crypto that will not go!
The copper I am using states Copper Sulfate and citric acid in distilled water for the contents and I have been running the U.V sterilizer the whole time and checking the copper level daily. It reads .25 every time. I don't know what to do. I have used this copper before in controlling outbreaks and it always worked. Why should I not be running the U.V? And if Cupramine is a better option, how should I go about changing the treatment now? Thanks Again, Durell Tharpe  <<The UV will remove many formats of copper... but 0.25ppm is right in there... sort of surprising to me (and you I suppose) that the Cryptocaryon is not gone then... Please have someone check your copper levels against their kit... and your copper solution.... it isn't precipitating on the bottom of its storage container is it?... I would give the current copper a rest (maybe let it go a week, and then start up with another brand... like the Cupramine (it can be added on top... as long as the total free copper is not excessive. And elevate the system temperature to 83-84 F...Bob Fenner>>
Re: Help crypto that will not go!
Thanks for your advice. I did a water change, bought new copper and lowered the salinity more. I lowered it to 1.011. I was going to leave the salt level there for about a week, do you think this will be harmful or not? Is it truly helpful (as many collectors advise to do this)? What effects does this have on the fish and the parasites? Many thanks, Durell Tharpe <The lowered spg? The fishes adjust if they're in good shape to start with, the parasites "pop" due to inability to cope with change in osmotic pressure. Bob Fenner>

Angelfish With Ich Dear Bob, <Scott F. here tonight> I purchased a 3.5" juvenile Queen Angelfish about a week ago.  He has developed what appears to be Marine Ich after a few days of being harassed by a slightly larger tank mate; a Yellow Tang.  The main tank is a 75-gallon reef aquarium stocked with 1-Yellow Tang, 2-Ocellaris Clownfish, 1-Orchid Dottyback, 3- Damsels live-rock and a number of invertebrates. <I don't mean to nitpick at a time like this- but do plan on moving him to larger quarters at some time in the near future. This beautiful fish will get huge, and will require a very large (200 plus gallons) tank to live out anything approaching its natural life span. Just something to consider, okay?> I set up a small hospital tank (6 gallon) four days ago and have him quarantined. <Good move to have a hospital tank at the ready. In the future, however, do quarantine all new purchases a minimum of 3 weeks before introducing them into the main tank. it's a very useful and simple process that can prevent a lot of grief for you and your animals> Three days ago we gave him a two-minute fresh water dip followed by a one-hour formalin bath at a concentration of 1-tsp/five gallons of salt water.  The Queen Angel was then placed in the hospital tank treated with SeaCure Copper at 0.15 mg/l and we have been monitoring Copper levels with the Fast Test, test kit.  I have elevated the hospital tank temperature to 83º F and have maintained a specific gravity of 1.0235. <Glad that you took fast action to treat him!> It appears to the eye that all signs of the disease are gone. However, I would like to get your recommendation on the duration of treatment and/or isolation.  As I mentioned this is a rather small hospital tank and I would prefer to get him into the main tank as soon as it is safe to do so.  So far the main tank has not shown signs of an outbreak. <Please note that the ich parasite enters a free swimming stage and will seem to disappear after just a few days, often before re-appearing on your fish again. I believe that you should run a full 3 week treatment on the fish. If you are concerned about keeping him in copper for that period of time, regular water changes will reduce the level gradually. However, I'd follow the manufacturer's instructions for the brand of medication that you're using. Be diligent about water changes and maintaining the proper therapeutic copper level during the treatment period. With patience and time, he should be just fine. That's the good news. The bad news is that the ich is probably in your main tank. If it were me, I'd remove all of the fishes to a quarantine tank (with or without copper, depending upon whether or not they're showing signs of the infection. Let the main tank run "fallow" (without fishes) for a month or so. Continue normal maintenance routines (water changes, etc.) during this time. This fallow period will deprive the parasite population of hosts, which will result in the death of most of them and a huge decrease in the parasite population in your system. Not a fun process, but truly a necessary one, IMO, if you're going to achieve a disease-free tank in the future. It's not 100% effective, but it does increase your odds tremendously. Avoiding having to do something like this is the #1 reason while we drum into everyone's heads that quarantine of new fishes before they are placed in the main tank is so Important.> Thanks in advance for your assistance and I too would like to add my thanks for the great content you authored in The Conscientious Marine Aquarist.  Best regards, Jeff Detweiler <I'll certainly pass the "props' on to Bob, Jeff! And I know that you'll be successful at beating the ich! Keep reading, learning, and showing patience! You're doing fine, so hang in there, okay?>

Ich/Fresh water Dips Hi Bob/Steven, Thanks for your valued advise, it's very much appreciated. I have another question for you. I have been reading your Diseases section at WWM concerning Ich and F/W dips. The situation: I have a 30gal quarantine tank that is currently housing a Bi-color Angel and Regal Tang. The Regal Tang is showing signs of what looks like ICH (salt like grains on both sides of it's body). I bought both fish just a day ago. When I bought him he looked fine. I followed the acclimation procedures as outlined by FFExpress. This morning I noticed the Ich on the Tang. Is using Kordon Rid - Ich + okay for the Bicolor Angel? <The active ingredient in that product is Malachite Green and Formalin. I am pretty sure the Malachite Green is bad for Centropyges.> He doesn't show any sign of Ich, but, as he is new and in the same q-tank as the regal tang I'm thinking he needs Rid - Ich as a precautionary step. What do you think? <I would begin with daily water changes first. A 25% daily water change on a QT tank can effect a cure for Cryptocaryon if done everyday for two weeks.> I plan on performing the usual other steps as well; water change, raise the temp slightly, lower salinity to upper teens and a 5 min f/w dip. <I like the dips, too, but try the daily changes first and then escalate the treatments if no response is seen.> But please let me know if you think the Rid Ich + is okay for the Dwarf Angel? Thanks, Steve Segura of San Jose, CA <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Emperor Angel and FW dips for crypt  9/8/05 Dear  Bob,      Thanks so much for all of your wonderful advice over the past couple of months.  I have a 180g FO tank that had crypt introduced into it after I added an emperor angel, yes I used a QT 4 weeks but unfortunately still had the problem.      I have had a problem ping ponging with crypt since.  I have had no fish die. <A testament to your active, good care...> I have 3 ich magnet tangs in a 55g QT ( large Naso, powder blue, purple tang ) they are doing surprisingly well though they are being treated with copper. Cupramine used to the letter of instructions.  Powder blue initially got HLLE which is now much better since feeding with Gracilaria for a week.  These guys will eventually be cured. <I admire your resolve>      As for the other guys in the display ( Emperor 6", Majestic 5" , Foxface 5" 2 clown fish aggression amongst angels has not been a problem)  they are all eating and doing fine.  I initially treated the display with hyposalinity to a SG of 1.009 for 6 weeks which predictably failed to achieve a cure.  Aggressive water changes, good diet etc have kept the fish alive but tank is infested.  I now see the Emperor is getting some white discoloration at the distal end of his right pectoral fin. Probably crypt, <... or the result of hyposalinity, treatment, stress...> but I have seen this type of thing go away never to return on other fish many times.  I am in the process of preparing a QT's of 55 gallons as well as 29 gallons.  Yes That makes 3 QT's in all. Two 55gallon and one 29 gallon. QT 55 g 1 Cupramine Treated 1 Naso, 1 powder blue, 1 purple tolerating well Aggression amongst the tangs has not been a problem <Crowding has its benefits at times> Planned QT 2 55 G Plan to add Majestic, Foxface, damsel  3 clowns ( these guys appear disease free )      Plan on using copper added SLOWLY, testing twice daily Planned QT 3 29 g plan on treating emperor alone I have well cycled large BioWheel filters that I am planning to use on the new QT's ( used in curing live rock ) I have read at wet web media that FW dips and daily water changes for and FW dips for 8 days can effect a cure for crypt. <Some, sometimes>   Is it likely that treating the emperor in the 29 G in this fashion will achieve a cure ? <Not the route I would take> The 180 gallon will lie fallow for 6-8 weeks. I will introduce and aquascape 150 lbs of beautifully cured LR as well as cleaner shrimp to make a new home for the fish that survive. <Good> I will most likely reintroduce 3-5 large fish and 3-4 small fish ( hopefully the angels, the Naso, clowns ) Do you think that this is a reasonable plan of action ? Thanks Jimmy <I would "risk" the use of copper (likely chelated... maybe the Cupramine product) on the Angel/s... Bob Fenner>
Re: Emperor Angel and FW dips for crypt  9/9/05
Bob,    Thanks for the feedback.  I am going to QT the angels and start Cupramine at a very low dose and move up to the recommended level.  This AM both of these fish look great in the Display no visible signs of disease ( but that is why they call it crypt which is Greek for hidden )   but I know there is still crypt in the tank. <Yes and yes>   I will fatten them up a bit until things are right for the QT.   As an aside.  What a difference a two foot wide tank makes on reducing stress !!! <Ahhh! Perhaps asking folks to consider how hard it is on them to make a turn in their car in a too-narrow street...>   I think that when I put fish in QT their biggest stress seems to be the decreased tank width (  front to back ) of the tank until they re-adjust their swimming pattern when they turn in the water.        My experience with my hobby this summer has taught me that there are times to act and there are times to wait.   <My friend~! You are gaining/unfolding to enlightenment> Taking action, though important, at the right time can be detrimental when it is time to sit fast.  Aggressive tank maintenance and excellent water conditions go a long way to allow for the fish's immune system to work.  Constantly assessing if treatment is worse than disease is imperative.  Treating in a timely manner when the disease is worse than the treatment can save fish.  Treatment when the treatment is worse that the disease kills fish.  Excellent fish husbandry oftentimes buys us some time to make this critical decision. <Ahhhh> Thanks Jimmy <Thank you... for the "Tao of fish keeping" insights. BobF>  

Butterflyfishes for Marine

Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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